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LIBRARY of the 



The Estate of the late 


Head of the 

Department of English 

University College 



In Weekly Volumes, price 3d. ; or in Cloth, 6d. 


Edited by HENRY MORLEY, LL.D. 

1. Warren Hastings .. .. Lord Macaulay. 

2. My Ten Years' Imprisonment .. .. Silvio Pellico 

3- The Rivals, and the School for Scandal R. B. Sheridan. 

4- The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. 

5- The Complete Angler Isaac Walto.n. 

6. Childe Harold Lord Byron. 

7. The Man of Peeling Henry Mackenzie. 

8. Sermons on the Card Bishop Latimer. 

9. Lives of Alexander and Caesar .. .. Plutarch. 

10. The Castle of Otranto Horace Walpole. 

11. Voyages and Travels Sir John Maundeville 

12. Plays Oliver Goldsmith. 

13. The Lady of the Lake Sir Walter Scott. 

14. Table Talk .. Martin Luther. 

15. The Wisdom of the Ancients . . . . Francis Bacon. 

16. Francis Bacon Lord Macaulay. 

17. Lives of the Poets (Waller, Milton, Cowley) Sa.MUEL JOHNSON. 

18. Thoughts on the Present Discontents, &e. Edmund Burke. 

19. Tae Battle of the Books, &e. .. .. Jonathan Swift. 

20. Poems George Crabbe. 

21. Egypt and Seythia .. Herodotus. 

22. Hamlet Wm. Shakespeare. 

23. Voyagers' Tales Richard Hakluyt. 

24. Nature and Arc .. Mrs. Inchbald. 

25. Lives of Aleibiades, Coriolanus, &c. .. Plutarch. 
26 & 27. Life and Adventures of Baron Trenck. 2 Vols. 

28 Essays Abraham Cowley 

29. Sir Roger de Coverley Steele and Addison. 

30. Voyages and Travels ^L\RCO Polo. 

3r. Tne Mere'jant of Venice w.m. Shakespeare. 

32. Religio Medici Sir T. Browne, M.D. 

33. The Diary of Samue! Pepys.— 1660— 1661. 

34. Earlier Poems John Milton. 

35. The North- West Pass'^ge Richard Hakluyt. 

^. The Sorrows of Werter Goethe. 

37. Lives of Poets 1 Butler, Denham, Dryden, &c.> Sa.MUEL JOHNSON. 
■38. Nathan the W^ise Lessing. 

39. 3-race Abounding .. John Bunyan. 

40. Macbeth avm. Shakespeare. 

41. The Diary of Samuel Pepys.— 1662— 1663. 

42. Earlier Poems Alexander Pope. 

43. Early Australian Voyages John Pinkerton. 

44. The Bravo of Venice M. G. Lewis. 

45. Lives of Demetrius, Mark Antony, &e. .. Plut.^rch. 

46 Peter Plymley's Letters, &c Sydney Smith. 

47. Travels in England in 1782 C. P. .Moritz. 

48. Undine, and The Two Captains .. .. La Motte FouQufi. 

49. Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit, &c. S. T. Coleridge. 

50. As You Like It .. .. William Shakespe.\re. 

51. A Joiurney^to the Western Islands ofJs^^u^L Johnso.n. 

52 \ Christma- Caro\ and The Chimes Charles Dicke.ns. 

53. The Christian Year John Keble. 

54 Wanderings in Soutli America .. .. Charles Waterton. 

The next Volume will be 

The Life of Lord Herbert of Cherbury. 




South America. 






;^CASSELL & COMPANY, Limited: 

■ 1887. 

seT>r /r 


4 i iv^co 



Plutarch, the most famous biographer of ancient 
times, is of opinion that the uses of telling the history 
of the men of past ages are to teach wisdom, and to 
show us by their example how best to spend life. His 
method is to relate the history of a Greek statesman 
or soldier, , then the history of a Roman whose op- 
portunities of fame resembled those of the Greek, 
and finally to compare the two. He points out how 
in the same straits the one hero had shown wisdom, 
the other imprudence; and that he who had on one 
occasion fallen short of greatness had on another 
displayed the highest degree of manly virtue or of 
genius. If Plutarch's method of teaching should ever 
be followed by an English biographer, he will surely 
place side by side and compare two English naturalists, 
Gilbert White and Charles Waterton. White was a 
clergyman of the Church of England, educated at 
Oxford. Waterton was a Roman Catholic country 
gentleman, who received his education in a Jesuit 
college. White spent his life in the south of England, 
and never travelled. Waterton lived in the north of 
England, and spent more than ten years in the Forests 


of Guiana. "With all these points of difference, the 
two naturalists were men of the same kind, and whose 
lives both teach the same lesson. They are examples 
to show that if a man will but look carefully round him 
in the country his every- day walk may supply him 
with an enjoyment costing nothing, but surpassed by 
none which wealth can procure ; with food for reflection 
however long he may live ; with problems of which it 
will be an endless pleasure to attempt the solution ; 
with a spectacle of Infinite Wisdom which will fill his 
mind with awe and with a constantly increasing assur- 
ance of Infinite G-oodness, which wiU do much to help 
him in all the trials of life. He who lives in the 
country and has the love of outdoor natural history in 
his heart, wiU never be lonely and never dull. Waterton 
himseK thought that this love of natural history must 
be inborn and could not be acquired. If this be so, 
they ought indeed to be thankful who possess so happy 
a gift. Even if Waterton's opinion be not absolutely 
true, it is at least certain that the taste for outdoor 
observation can only be acquired in the field, and that 
this acquisition is rarely made after the period of boy- 
hood. How important, then, to excite the attention of 
children in the country to the sights around them. A 
few will remain apathetic, the tastes of some will lie in 
other directions, but the time will not be lost, for some 
will certainly take to natural history, and will have 
happiness from it throughout life. iSTo study is more 


likely to confirm tliem in that content of which a 
favourite poet of Waterton's truly says : — 

" Content is wealth, the riches of the mind, 
And happy he who can tiiat treasure find." 

Gilbert White and Charles Waterton are pre-eminent 
among English naturalists for their complete devotion 
to the study; both excelled as observers, and the 
writings of both combine the interest of exact outdoor 
observation with the charm of good literature. Water- 
ton was born on June 3rd, 1782, at Walton Hall, in 
the West Riding of Yorkshire, a place which had for 
several centuries been the seat of his family. His 
father, Thomas Waterton, was a squire, fond of fox- 
hunting, but with other tastes, well read in literature, 
and delighting in the observation of the ways of birds 
and beasts. His grandfather, whose grave is beneath 
the most northern of a row of old elm trees in the park, 
was imprisoned in York on account of his known at- 
tachment to the cause of the Young Pretender. As he 
meant to join the rebel forces, the imprisonment prob- 
ably saved his own life and prevented the ruin of the 
family. In his grandson's old age, when another white- 
haired Yorkshire squire was dining at Walton Hall, 
I remember that Waterton and he reminded one another 
that their grandfathers had planned to march together 
to Prince Charley, and that they themselves, so differ- 
ently are the rights of kings regarded at different ages. 


■svliGii schoolboys together, had gone a -bird's -nesting on 
a day, in 1793, set apart for mourning for the decapi- 
tation of Louis XYI. Waterton has himself told the 
history of his earlier ancestors in an autobiography 
which he wrote in 1837 : — 

" The poet tells us, that the good qualities of man 
and of cattle descend to their offspring. ' Fortes 
creantur fortibus et bonis' If this holds good, I ought 
to be pretty well off, as far as breeding goes ; for, on 
the father's side, I come in a direct line from Sir 
Thomas More, through my grandmother ; whilst by the 
mother's side I am akin to the Bedingf elds of Oxburgh, 
to the Charltons of Hazelside, and to the Swinburnes 
of Capheaton. My family has been at Walton Hall 
for some centuries. It emigrated into Yorksliire from 
Waterton, in the island of Axeliolme in Lincolnshire, 
where it had been for a very long time. Indeed, I dare 
say I could trace it up to Father Adam, if my pro- 
genitors had only been as careful in preserving family 
records as the Arabs are in recording the pedigree of 
their horses ; for I do most firmly believe that we are 
all descended from Adam and his wife Eve, notwith- 
standing what certain self- sufficient philosophers may 
have advanced to the contrary. Old Matt Prior had 
probably an opportunity of laying his hands on family 
papers of tlie same purport as those which I have not 
been able to find; for he positively informs us that 
Adam and Eve were his ancestors : — 


* Gentlemen, here, by your Iccave, 

Lie the bones of ^latthew Prior, 
A son of Adam and of Eve : 

Can Bourbon or Nassau go higher ? ' 

Depend upon it, tlie man under Afric's burning zone, 

and lie from the frozen regions of tlie ISTortli, have 

both come from the same stem. Their difference in 

colour and in feature may be traced to this : viz., tliat 

the first has had too much, and the second too little, 


" In remote times, some of my ancestors were suf- 
ficiently notorious to have had their names handed 
down to posterity. They fought at Cressy, and at 
Agincourt, and at Marston Moor. Sir Robert Water- 
ton was Governor of Poutefract Castle, and had charge 
of King Richard II. Sir Hugh Waterton was executor 
to his Sovereign's will, and guardian to his daughters. 
Another ancestor was sent into France by the King, 
with orders to contract a royal marriage. He was 
allowed thirteen shillings a day for his trouble and 
travelling expenses. Another Avas Lord Chancellor of 
England, and preferred to lose his head rather than 
sacrifice his conscience." 

Waterton's childhood was spent at "Walton Hall, and 
in his old age he used sometimes to recall the songs of 
his nurses. " One of them," he said, " is the only 
poem in which the owl is pitied. She sang it to the 
tune of ' Cease, rude Boreas, blustering railer,' and 
the words are affecting : — 


* Once I was a monarch's daughter, 

And sat on a lady's knee ; 
But am now a nightly rover, 
Banished to the ivy tree. 

' Crying, Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoc, 

Hoo, hoo, my feet are cold ! 
Pity me, for here you see me 
Persecuted, poor, and old.' " 

He was already proficient in bird's-nesting when, in 
1792, he was sent to a school kept by a Roman Catholic 
priest, the Reverend Arthur Storey, at Tudlioe, then a 
small village, five miles from Durham, Three years 
before his death he wrote an account of his schooldays, 
which is printed in the Life prefixed to Messrs. Warne's 
edition of his " Natural History Essays." The honour- 
able character of the schoolmaster, and the simple, 
adventurous disposition of his j)upiL are vividly de- 
picted in this account. The following quotations 
from it show that preparatory schools were less 
luxurious in the last century than they commonly are 
at the present day : — 

" But now let me enter into the minutias of Tudhoe 
Scliool. Mr. Storey had two wigs, one of which was 
of a flaxen colour, without powder, and had only one 
lower row of curls. The other had two rows, and was 
exceedingly well powdered. When he appeared in the 
schoolroom with this last wig on, I knew that I was 
safe from the birch, as he invariably went to Durham 
and spent the day there. But when I saw that he had 


his flaxen wig on, my countenance fell. He was in the 
schoolroom all day, and I was too often placed in a 
very imcomfortable position at nightfall. But some- 
times I had to come in contact with the birch-rod for 
various frolics independent of school erudition. I once 
smarted severely for an act of kindness. We had a 
boy named Bryan Salvin, from Croxdale Hall, He 
was a dull, sluggish, and unwieldy lad, quite incapable 
of climbing exertions. Being dissatisfied with the 
regulations of the establishment, he came to me one 
Palm Sunday, and entreated me to get into the school- 
room through the window, and write a letter of com- 
plaint to his sister Eliza in York. I did so, having 
insinuated myself with vast exertion through the irou 
stanchions which secured the window ; ' sed revocare 
gradum.' Whilst I was thrusting might and main 
through the stanchions, on my way out — suddenly, oh, 
horrible ! the schoolroom door flew open, and on the 
threshold stood the Reverend Mr, Storey — a fiery, 
frightful, formidable spectre ! To my horror and con- 
fusion I drove my foot quite through a pane of glass, 
and there I stuck, impaled and imprisoned, but luckily 
not injured by the broken glass. Whilst I was thus in 
unexpected captivity, he cried out, in an angry voice, 
' So you are there, Master Charles, are you ? ' He got 
assistance, and they pulled me back by main force. 
But as this was Palm Sunday my execution was 
obligingly deferred until Monday morning. 


" But let us return to Tudlioe. In my time it was a 
peaceful, healthy farming village, and abounded in 
local curiosities. Just on the king's highway, betwixt 
Durham and Bishop- Auckland, and one field from the 
school, there stood a public-house called the ' White 
Horse,' and kept by a man of the name of Charlton. 
He had a real gaunt English mastiff, half-starved for 
want of food, and so ferocious that nobody but himself 
dared to approach it. This publican had also a mare, 
surprising in her progeny ; she had three foals, in three 
successive years, not one of which had the least appear- 
ance of a tail. 

" One of Mr. Storey's powdered wigs was of so 
tempting an aspect, on the shelf where it was laid up 
in ordinary, that tlie cat actually kittened in it. I 
saw her and her little ones all together in the warm 
wig. He also kept a little white and black bitch, 
apparently of King Charles's breed. One evening, as 
we scholars were returning from a walk, Chloe started 
a hare, which we surrounded and captured, and carried 
in triumph to oily Mrs. Atkinson, who begged us a 
play-day for our success. 

" On Easter Sunday Mr. Storey always treated us to 
'Pasche eggs.' They were boiled hard in a concoction 
of whin-flowers, which rendered them beautifully 
purple. "We used them for warlike purposes, by hold- 
ing them betwixt our forefinger and tlnimb with the 
sharp end upwards, and as little ex2)osed as possible. 


An antagonist then approaclied, and witli tlie sharp end 
of his own egg struck this egg. If he succeeded in 
cracking it, the vanquished egg was his ; and he either 
sold it for a halfpenny in the market, or reserved it for 
his own eating. When all the sharp ends had been 
crushed, then the blunt ends entered into battle. Thus 
nearly every Pasche egg in the school had its career of 
combat. The possessor of a strong egg with a thick 
shell would sometimes vanquish a dozen of his oppo- 
nents, all of which the conqueror ultimately transferred 
into his own stomach, when no more eggs with un- 
broken ends remained to carry on the war of Easter 

" The little black and white bitch once began to 
snarl, and then to bark at me, when I was on a roving 
expedition in quest of hens' nests. I took up half a 
brick and knocked it head over heels. Mr. Storey was 
watching at the time from one of the upper windows ; 
but I had not seen him, until I heard the sound of his 
magisterial voice. He beckoned me to his room there 
and then, and whipped me soundly for my pains. 

" Four of us scholars stayed at Tudhoe during the 
summer vacation, when all the rest had gone home. 
Two of these had dispositions as malicious as those of 
two old apes. One fine summer's morning they decoyed 
me into a field (I was just then from my mother's 
nursery) where there was a flock of geese. They 
assured me that the geese had no right to be there ; 


and that it was necessary we should kill them, as they 
were trespassing on our master's grass. The scamps 
then furnished me with a hedge-stake. On approach- 
ing the flock, behold the gander came out to meet me ; 
and whilst he was hissing defiance at us, I struck him 
on the neck, and killed him outright. My comrades 
immediately took to flight, and on reaching the house 
informed our master of what I had done. But when 
he heard my unvarnished account of the gander's death, 
he did not say one single unkind word to me, but 
scolded most severely the two boys who had led me 
into the scrape. The geese belonged to a farmer 
named John Hey, whose son Ralph used to provide me 
with birds' eggs. Ever after when I passed by his 
house, some of the children would point to me and say, 
'Taw killed aur guise.' 

" At Bishop-Auckland there lived a man by the 
name of Charles the Painter. He played extremely 
well on the Northumberland bagpipe, and his neigh- 
bour was a good performer on the flageolet. When we 
had pleased our master by continued good conduct, he 
would send for these two musicians, who gave us a 
delightful evening concert in the general play-room. 
Mr. Storey himseM supplying an extra treat of fruit, 
cakes, and tea. 

" Tudhoe had her own ghosts and spectres, just as 
tlie neighbouring villages had theirs. One was the 
Tudhoe mouse, well known and often seen in every 


house in the village ; but I cannot affirm that I myself 
ever saw it. It was an enormous mouse, of a dark 
brown colour, and did an immensity of mischief. No 
cat could face it ; and as it wandered through the 
village, all the dogs would take off, frightened out of 
their wits, and howling as they ran away. William 
Wilkinson, Mr. Storey's farming man, told me he had 
often seen it, but that it terrified him to such a degree 
that he could not move from the place where he was 

" Our master kept a large tom-cat in the house. A 
fine young man, in the neighbouring village of Ferry- 
hill, had been severely bitten by a eat, and he died 
raving mad. On the day that we got this information 
from Timothy Pickering, the carpenter at Tudlioe, I 
was on the prowl for adventures, and in passing 
through Mr. Storey's back kitchen, his big black cat 
came up to me. Whilst I was tickling its bushy tail, 
it turned round upon me, and gave me a severe bite in 
the calf of the leg. This I kept a profound secret, 
but I was quite sure I should go mad every day, for 
many months afterwards. 

" There was a blacksmith's shop leading down the 
village to Tudhoe Old Hall. Just opposite this shop was 
a pond, on the other side of the road. When any sudden 
death was to take place, or any sudden ill to befall the 
village, a large black horse used to emerge from it, and 
walk slowly up and down the village, carrying a rider 


without a head. Tho blacksmith's graudfather, his 
father, himself, his three sons, and two daughters, had 
seen this midnight apparition rise out of the pond, and 
return to it before the break of day. John Hickson 
and Neddy Hunt, two hangers-on at the blacksmith's 
shop, had seen this phantom more than once, but they 
never durst approach it. Indeed, every man and woman 
and child believed in this centaur-spectre, and I am 
not quit^j sure if our old master himself did not partly 
believe that such a thing had occasionally been seen on 
very dark nights. 

"Tudhoe has no river, a misfortune *t^a?(^e dejlendus' 
In other respects the vicinity was charming; and it 
afforded an ample supply of woods and hedgerow trees 
to insure a sufficient stock of carrion crows, jackdaws, 
jays, magpies, brown owls, kestrels, merlins, and 
sparrow-hawks, for the benefit of natural history and 
my own instruction and amusement." 

In 1796 Waterton left Tudhoe school and went to 

Stonyhurst College in Lancashire. It was a country 

house of the picturesque style of King James I., which 

had just been made over by Mr. Weld of Lulworth to the 

Jesuits expelled from Liege. The country round 

Stonyhurst is varied by hills and streams, and there 

are mountains at no great distance. 

" Whemside, Pendle Hill, and Ingleboro', 
Three higher hills you'll not find England thoro','' 

as they are described, with equal disregard of exact 


mensuration and of rhythm, in a local rhyme which 
Waterton learned. Curlew used to fly by in flocks, 
and the country people had also a rhyme about the 
curlew : — 

"Be she white or be she black, 
She carries sixpence on her back," 

which Waterton used to say showed how our ancestors 
valued the bird at table. 

At Stonyhurst he read a good deal of Latin and of 
Englisli literature, and acquired a taste for writing 
Latin verse. He always looked back on his education 
there with satisfaction, and in after-life often went to 
visit the college. Throughout life he never drank wine, 
and this fortunate habit was the result of the good 
advice of one of his teachers : — 

" My master was Father Clifford, a first cousin of 
the noble lord of that name. He had left the world, 
and all its alluring follies, that he might serve Almighty 
God more perfectly, and work his way with more 
security up to the regions of eternal bliss. After 
educating those entrusted to his charge with a care and 
affection truly paternal, he burst a blood-vessel, and 
retired to Palermo for the benefit of a warmer climate. 
There he died the death of the just, in the habit of 
St. Ignatius. 

" One day, when I was in the class of poetry, and 
which was about two years before I left the college for 
good and all, he called me up to his room. ' Charles/ 


said he to me, in a tone of voice perfectly irresistible, 
' I have long been studying your disposition, and I 
clearly foresee that nothing will keep 3'ou at home. 
You will journey into far-distant countries, where you 
will be exposed to many dangers. There is only one 
way for you to escape them. Promise me that, from 
tliis day forward, you will never put your lips to wine, 
or to spirituous liquors.' ' The sacrifice is nothing,' 
added he ; ' but, in tlie end, it will prove of incalculable 
advantage to you.' I agreed to his enlightened pro- 
posal ; and from that hour to this, which is now about 
nine-and-thirty years, I have never swallowed one glass 
of any kind of wine or of ardent spirits," 

After leaving college Waterton stayed at home with 
his father, and enjoyed fox-hunting for a while. To 
the end of his days he liked to hear of a good run, and 
he would now and then look witli pleasure on an en- 
graving which hung in the usual dining - room at 
Walton Hall, representing Lord Darlington, the first 
master of hounds he had known, well seated on a 
powerful horse and surrounded by very muscular 
hounds. In 1802 he went to visit two uncles in Spain, 
and stayed for more than a year, and there had a 
terrible experience of pestilence and of earthquake : — 

" There began to be reports spread up and down the 
city that the black vomit had made its appearance ; 
and every succeeding day brought testimony that 
things were not as they ouglit to be. I myself, in an 


alloy near my uncles' house, saw a mattress of most 
suspicious appearance liung out to dry. A Maltese 
captain, who had dined with us in good health at one 
o'clock, lay dead in his cabin before, sunrise the next 
morning. A few days after this I was seized with 
vomiting and fever during the night. I had the most 
dreadful spasms, and it was supposed that I could not 
last out till noon the next day. However, strength of 
constitution got me through it. In three weeks more, 
multitudes were seen to leave the city, which shortly 
after was declared to be in a state of pestilence. Some 
affirmed that the disorder had come from the Levant ; 
others said that it had been imported from the 
Havanna ; but I think it probable that nobody could 
tell in what quarter it had originated. 

" We had now all retired to the country-house — my 
eldest uncle returning to Malaga from time to time, 
according as the pressure of business demanded his 
presence in the city. He left us one Sunday evening, 
and said he would be back again some time on Monday; 
but that was my poor uncle's last day's ride. On arriving 
at his house in Malaga, there was a messenger waiting 
to inform him that Father Bustamante had fallen sick, 
and wished to see him. Father Bustamante was an 
aged priest, who had been particularly kind to my 
uncle on his first arrival in Malaga. My uncle went 
immediately to Father Bustamante, gave him every 
consolation in his power, and then returned to his own 


house very unwell, there to die a martyr to his charity. 
Father Bustamaute breathed his last before daylight ; 
my uncle took to his bed, and never rose more. As 
soon as we had received information of his sickness, I 
immediately set out on foot for the city. His friend, 
Mr. Power, now of Gibraltar, was already in his room, 
doing everything that friendship could suggest or 
prudence dictate. My uncle's athletic constitution 
bore up against the disease much longer than we 
thought it possible. He struggled with it for five days, 
and sank at last about the hour of sunset. He stood 
six feet four inches high ; and was of so kind and 
generous a disposition, that he was beloved by all who 
knew him. Many a Spanish tear flowed when it was 
known that he had ceased to be. We got him a kind 
of coffin made, in which he was conveyed at midiriglit 
to the outskirts of the town, there to be put into one of 
the pits which the galley-slaves had dug during the 
day for the reception of the dead. But they could not 
spare room for the coffin ; so the body was taken out of 
it, and thrown upon the heap which already occu- 
pied the pit. A Spanish marquis lay just below 

" Thousands died as though they had been seized 
with cholera, others with black vomit, and others of 
decided yellow fever. There were a few instances of 
some who departed this life with very little pain or bad 
symptoms : they felt unwell, they went to bed, they 


had an idea that they would not get better, and they 
expired in a kind of slumber. It was sad in the 
extreme to see the bodies placed in the streets at the 
close of day, to be ready for the dead-carts as they 
passed along. The dogs howled fearfully during the 
night. All was gloom and horror in every street ; and 
you might see the vultures on the strand tugging at the 
bodies which were washed ashore by the eastern wind. 
It was always said that 50,000 people left the city at 
the commencement of the pestilence ; and that 14,000 
of those who remained in it fell victims to the disease. 

" There was an intrigue going on at court, for the in- 
terest of certain powerful people, to keep the port of 
Malaga closed long after the city had been declared 
free from the disorder ; so that none of the vessels 
in the mole could obtain permission to depart for their 

" In the meantime the city was shaken with earth- 
quakes ; shock succeeding shock, till we all imagined 
that a catastrophe awaited us similar to that which had 
taken place at Lisbon. The pestilence killed you by 
degrees, and its approaches were sufficiently slow, in 
general, to enable you to submit to it with firmness and 
resignation ; but the idea of being swallowed up alive 
by the yawning earth at a moment's notice, made you 
sick at heart, and rendered you almost fearful of your 
own shadow. The first shock took place at six in the 
evening, with a noise as though a thousand carriages 


had dashed against each other. This terrified many- 
people to such a degree that tliey paced all night long 
np and down the Alameda, or public walk, rather than 
retire to their homes. I went to bed a little after mid- 
night, but was roused by another shock about five 
o'clock in the morning. It gave the bed a motion 
which made me fancy that it moved under me from 
side to side. I sprang up, and having put on my un- 
mentionables (we wore no trousers in those days), I ran 
out, in all haste, to the Alameda. There the scene was 
most distressing : multitudes of both sexes, some nearly 
in a state of nudity, and others sick at stomach, were 
huddled together, not knowing which way to turn or 

what to do. 

* Omnes eodera cogimur. ' 

However, it pleased Heaven, in its mercy, to spare us. 
The succeeding shocks became weaker and weaker, till 
at last we felt no more of them." 

A courageous sea-captain at last sailed away in 
safety, though chased by the Spanish brigs of war, and 
after thirty days at sea Waterton landed in England. 

Another uncle had estates in Demerara, and in the 
autumn Waterton sailed thither from Portsmouth. He 
landed at Georgetown, Demerara, in November, 1804, 
and was soon delighted by the natural history of the 
tropical forest. In 1806 his father died, and he returned 
to England. He made four more journeys to Guiana, 
and, in 1825, published an account of them, entitled 


"Wanderings in South America, the North- West of 
the United States, and the Antilles, in the years 1812, 
1816, 1820, and 1824 ; with original instructions for the 
perfect preservation of birds, &c., for cabinets of natural 
history." The two first journeys are now reprinted 
from the original text. The book at once attracted 
general attention, became popular, and has taken a 
place among permanent English literature. Unlike 
most travellers, Waterton tells nothing of his personal 
difficulties and discomforts, and encumbers his pages 
with neither statistics nor information of the guide- 
book kind. His observation of birds and beasts, 
written down in the forests, and the description of the 
forests themselves, fill all his pages. The great ant- 
eater and the sloth were for the first time accurately de- 
scribed by him. He showed that the slcth, instead of 
being a deformed, unliappy creature, was admirably 
adapted to its habitat. He explained the use of the 
great claws of the ant-eater, and the curious gait which 
they necessitated. The habits of the toucan, of the 
houtou, of the campanero, and of many other birds, 
were first correctly described by him. He determined 
to catch a cayman or alligator, and at last hooked one 
with a curious wooden hook of four barbs made for 
him by an Indian. 

The adventure which followed is perhaps one of the 
most famous exploits of an English naturalist. 

" We found a cayman, ten feet and a hal£ long, fast 


to the end of the rope. Nothing now remained to do, 
bnt to get him ont of tlie water without injuring his 
scales, ' hoc opus, hie labor.' We mustered strong : 
there were three Indians from the creek, there was my 
own Indian, Tan; Daddy Quashi,* the negro from 
Mrs. Peterson's; James, Mr. R. Edmonstone's man, 
whom I was instructing to preserve birds ; and, lastly, 

" I informed the Indians that it was my intention to 
draw him quietly out of the water, and then secure 
him. They looked and stared at each other, and said 
I might do it myself, but they would have no hand in 
it ; the capnan would worry some of us. On saying 
this, ' consedere duces,' they squatted on their hams 
with the most perfect indifference. 

" The Indians of these wilds have never been subject 
to the least restraint ; and 1 knew enough of them to 
be aware, that if I tried to force them against their 
will, they would take off, and leave me and my pre- 
sents unheeded, and never return. 

" Daddy Quashi was for applying to our guns, as 
usual, considering them our best and safest friends. 
I immediately offered to knock him down for his 
cowardice, and he shrank back, begging that I would 

* The negroes of the West Coast of Africa, as I am informed 
by Dr. Kodjoe Benjamin William Kwatei-kpakpafio, of 
Accra, take their names from the day of the week on which 
they are born : Quashi (Kwasi) is Sunday ; Kodjoe, Monday ; 
Koffie, Tuesday.— N. M. 



be cautious, and not get myself worried ; and apolo- 
gising for his own want of resolution. My Indian 
was now in conversation with the others, and they 
asked me if I would allow them to shoot a dozen 
arrows into him, and thus disable him. This would 
have ruined all. I had come above three hundred miles 
on purpose to get a cayman uninjured, and not to 
carry back a mutilated specimen. I rejected their 
proposition with firmness, and darted a disdainful eye 
upon the Indians. 

" Daddy Quashi was again beginning to remonstrate, 
and I chased him on the sand-bank for a quarter 
of a mile. He told me afterwards, he thought he 
should have dropped down dead with fright, for he 
was firmly persuaded, if I had caught him, I should 
have bundled him into the cayman's jaws. Here then 
we stood, in silence, like a calm before a thunder-storm. 
* Hoc res summa loco. Scinditur in contraria vul- 
gus.' They wanted to kill him, and I wanted to take 

him alive. 

" I now walked up and down the sand, revolving a 
dozen projects in my head. The canoe was at a con- 
siderable distance, and I ordered the people to bring it 
round to the place where we were. The mast was 
eight feet long, and not much thicker than my wrist. 
I took it out of the canoe, and wrapped the sail round 
the end of it. In'ow it appeared clear to me, that if I 
went down upon one knee, and held the mast in the same 


position as the soldier holds his bayonet when rushing 
to the charge, I could force it do-vra the cayman's 
throat, should he come open-mouthed at me. When 
this was told to the Indians, they brightened up, and 
said they would help me to pull him out of the river. 

" ' Brave squad I ' said I to myself, ' " Audax omnia 
perpeti," now that you have got me betwixt yourselves 
and danger.' I then mustered all hands for the last 
time before the battle. "We were, four South American 
savages, two negroes from Africa, a creole from Trini- 
dad, and myself, a white man from Yorkshire. In fact, 
a little Tower of Babel group, in dress, no dress, ad- 
dress, and language. 

" Daddy Quashi hung in the rear ; I showed him a 
large Spanish knife, which I always carried in the 
waistband of my trousers : it spoke volumes to him, 
and he shrugged up his shoulders in absolute despair. 
The sun was just peeping over the higli forests on the 
eastern hills, as if coming to look on, and bid us act 
with becoming fortitude. I placed all the people at 
the end of the rope, and ordered them to pull till the 
cayman appeared on the surface of the water : and 
then, should he plunge, to slacken the rope and let him 
go again into the deep. 

" I now took the mast of the canoe in my hand (the 
sail being tied round the end of the mast) and sank 
down upon one knee, about four yards from the water's 
edge, determining to tlirust it down his throat, in ease 


he gave me an opportunity. I certainly felt somewhat 
uncomfortable in this situation, and I thought of 
Cerberus on the other side of the Styx ferry. The 
people pulled the cayman to the surface ; he plunged 
furiously as soon as he arrived in these upper regions, 
and immediately went below again on their slackening 
the rope. I saw enough not to fall in love at first 
sight. I now told them we would run all risks, 
and have him on laud immediately. They jjulled 
again, and out he came — ' monstrum horreudum, in- 
forme.' This was an interesting moment. I kept my 
position firmly, with my eye fixed steadfast on him. 

" By the time the cayman was within two yards of 
me, I saw he was in a state of fear and perturbation : 
I instantly dropped the mast, sj)rang up, and jumped 
on his back, turning half round as I vaulted, so that I 
gained my seat with my face in a right position. I imme- 
diately seized his fore-legs, and l>y main force twisted 
them on his back ; thus they served me for a bridle. 

'' He now seemed to liave recovered from liis surprise, 
and probably fancying himself in hostile company, he 
began to plunge furiously, and lashed the sand with his 
long and powerful tail. I was out of reach of the strokes 
of it, by being near his head. He continued to plunge 
and strike, and made my seat very uncomfortable. It 
must have been a fine sight for an unoccupied spectator. 

" The people roared out in triumph, and were so voci- 
ferous, that it was some time before they heard me teli 


them to pnll me and my beast of burthen farther in- 
land. I was apprehensive the rope might break, and 
then there would have been every chance of going 
down to the regions under water with the cayman. 
That would have been more perilous than Arion's 
marine morning ride : — 

' Delpliini insidens vada cserula sulcat Arion.' 

" The people now dragged us about forty yards on 
the sand ; it was the first and last time I was ever on 
a cayman's back. Should it be asked, how I managed 
to keep my seat, I would answer — I hunted some 
years with Lord Darlington's fox-hounds. 

" After repeated attempts to regain his liberty, the 
cayman gave in, and became tranquil through exhaus- 
tion. I now managed to tie up his jaws, and firmly 
secured his fore-feet in the position I had held them. 
"We had now another severe struggle for superiority, 
but he was soon overcome, and again remained quiet. 
While some of the people were pressing upon his head 
aud shoulders, I threw myself on his tail, and by keep- 
ing it down to the sand, prevented him from kicking up 
another dust. He was finally conveyed to the canoe, 
and then to the place where we had suspended our 
hammocks. There I cut his throat ; and after break- 
fast was over, commenced the dissection." 

After his fourth journey "VVaterton occasionally 
travelled on the Continent, but for the most part 


resided at Walton Hall. In the park he made the 
observations afterwards published as " Essays on 
Natural History," in three series, and since reprinted, 
with his Life and Letters, by Messrs. Warne and Co. 

Walton Hall is situated on an island surrounded by 
its ancient moat, a lake of about five-and-twenty acres in 
extent. From the shores of the lake the land rises ; 
parts of the slope, and nearly all the highest part, being 
covered with wood. 

In one wood there was a large heronry, in another a 
rookery. Several hollow trees were haunted by owls, 
in the summer goat- suckers were always to be seen in 
the evening flying about two oaks on the hill. At 
one end of the lake in summer the kingfisher might 
be watched fishing, and throughout the year herons 
waded round its shores picking up fresh-water mussels, 
or stood motionless for hours, watching for fish. In 
winter, when the lake was frozen, three or four hund- 
red wild duck, with teal and pochards, rested on it 
all day, and flew away at night to feed ; while 
widgeons fed by day on its chores. Coots and water- 
hens used to come close to the windows and pick 
up food put out for them. The Squire built a wall 
nine feet high all round his park, and he used 
laughingly to say that he paid for it with the cost 
of the wine which he did not drink after dinner. 

A more delightful home for a naturalist could not 
have been. No shot was ever fired within the park 


wall, and every year more birds came. Waterton used 
often to quote the lines : — 

" No bird that haunts my valley free 
To slaughter I condemn ; 
Taught by the Power that pities me, 
I learn to pity them ; " 

and each, new-comer added to his happiness. In his 
latter days the household usually consisted of the 
Squire, as he was always called, and of his two 
sisters-in-law, for he had lost his wife soon after 
his marriage in 1829. He breakfasted at eight, dined 
in the middle of the day, and drank tea in the 
evening. He went to bed early, and slept upon the 
bare floor, Avith a block of wood for his pillow. He 
rose for the day at haK-past three, and spent the hour 
from four to five at prayer in his chapel. He then 
read every morning a chapter in a Spanish Life of 
St. Francis Xavier, followed by a chapter of "Don 
Quixote '' in the original, after which he used to stuff 
birds or write letters till breakfast. Most of the day 
he spent in the open air, and when the weather was cold 
would light a fire of sticks and warm himself by it. 
So active did he continue to the end of his days, that on 
his eightieth birthday he climbed an oak in my company. 
He was very kind to the poor, and threw open a beau- 
tiful part of his park to excursionists all through the 
summer. He had a very tender heart for beasts and 
birds, as well as for men. If a cat looked hungry he 
would see that she had a meal, and sometimes when he 


had forgotten to put a crust of bread in his pocket before 
starting on his afternoon walk, he would say to his 
companion, " How shall we ever get past that goose ? " 
for there was a goose which used to wait for him in the 
evening at the end of the bridge over the moat, and he 
could not bear to disappoint it. If he could not find a bit 
of food for it, he would wait at a distance till the bird went 
away, rather than give it nothing when it raised its bill. 

Towards the end of his life I enjo3'ed his friendship, 
and can never forget his kindly welcome, his pithy 
conversation, the happy humour with which he ex- 
pressed the conclusions of his long experience of men, 
birds and beasts, and the goodness which shone from 
his face. I was staying at Walton when he died, and 
have thus described his last hours in the biography 
which is prefixed to the latest edition of his Essays.* 
I was reading for an examination, and used, on the 
Squire's invitation, to go and chat with him just after 
midnight, for at that hour he always awoke, and paid 
a short visit to his chapel. A little before midnight 
on May 24th I visited him in his room. He was sitting 
asleep by his fire wrapped up in a large Italian cloak. 

His head rested upon his wooden pillow, which was 
X3laced on a table, and his thick silvery hair formed a 
beautiful contrast with the dark colour of the oak. He 
soon woke up, and withdrew to the chapel, and on his 

*" Natural History Essays," by Charles Waterton, edited, 
with a life of the anthor, by Norman Moore (Warne and Co.). 


return we talked together for three-quarters of an hour 
about the brown owl, the nightjar, and other birds. 
The next morning, May 25, he was unusually cheerful, 
and said to me, " That was a very pleasant little confab we 
had last night : I do not suppose there was such another 
going on in England at the same time." After break- 
fast we went with a carpenter to finish some bridges at 
the far end of the park. The work was completed, and 
we were proceeding homewards when, in crossing a 
small bridge, a braml)le caught the Squire's foot, and 
he fell heavily upon a log. He was greatly shaken, and 
said he thought he was dying. He walked, notwithstand- 
ing, a little way, and was then compelled to lie down. 
He would not permit his sufferings to distract his 
mind, and he pointed out to the carpenter some trees 
which were to be felled. He presently continued his 
route, and managed to reach the spot where the boat 
was moored. Hitherto he had refused all assistance, 
but he could not step from the bank into the boat, and 
he said, "I am afraid I must ask you to help me in." 
He walked from the landing-place into the house, 
changed his clothes, and came and sat in the large room 
below. The pain increasing, he rose from his seat after 
he had seen his doctor, and though he had been bent 
double with anguish, he persisted in walking uj)- stairs 
without help, and would have gone to his own room in 
the top storey, if, for the sake of saving trouble to 
others, he had not been induced to stop half-way in 


Miss Edmonstoiie's sittiiiof-room. Hore lio lay down 
upon tho sofa, and was attended hy liis sistors-in-law. 
The pain abated, and tlie next day lie seemed l)etter. 
lu the afternoon he talked to me a i:^ood deal, chiefly 
about natural history. But lie was well aware of his 
perilous condition, for he remarked to me. '" This is a 
bad business," and later on he felt his pulse often, and 
said, " It is a bad case." He was more than self- 
possessed. A beniofnant cheerfulness beamed from his 
mind, and in the fits of pain he frequently looked up 
with a gentle smile, and made some little joke. To- 
wards midnight he grew worse. The priest, the 
Reverend R. Browne, was summoned, and Waterton 
got ready to die. He pulled himself upright without 
help, sat in the middle of the sofa, and gave his bless- 
ing in turn to his grandson, Charlie, to his grand- 
daughter, Mary, to each of his sisters-in-law, to his 
niece, and to myself, and left a message for his son, 
who was hastening back from Rome. He then received 
the last sacraments, repeated all the responses, Saint 
Bernard's hymn in English, and the first two verses of 
the Dies Irce. The end was now at hand, and he died 
at twenty-seven minutes past two in the morning of 
May 27, 1865. The window was .open. The sky was 
beginning to grow grey, a few rooks had cawed, the 
swallows were twittering, the landrail was craking from 
the Ox-close, and a favourite cock, which he used to call 
B— 54 


his momiiig gun, leaped out from some hollies, and 
gave his accustomed crow. The ear of his master was 
deaf to the call. He had obeyed a sublimer summons, 
and had woke up to the glories of the eternal world. 

He was buried on his birthday, the 3rd of June, 
between two great oaks at the far end of the lake, the 
oldest trees in the park. He had put up a rough stone 
cross to mark the spot where he wished to be buried. 
Often on summer days he had sat in the shade of these 
oaks watching the kingfishers. " Cock Robin and the 
magpies," he said to me as we sat by the trees one day, 
" will mourn my loss, and yon will sometimes remember 
me when I lie here." At the foot of the cross is a 
Latin inscription which he wi'ote himself. It could 
hardly be simpler : " Pray for the soul of Charles 
Waterton, whose tired bones are buried near this 
cross." The dates of his birth and death are added. 

Walton Hall is no longer the home of the Watertons, 
the oaks are too old to flourish many years more, and 
in time the stone cross may be overthrown and the 
exifct burial place of Waterton be forgotten ; but his 
" Wanderings in South America" and his " Natural His- 
tory Essays" will always be read, and are for him a memo- 
rial like that claimed by the poet he read oftenest — 

' ' quod nee Jovis ira, nee ignes, 
Nee poterit ferrum, nee edax abolere vetustas." 

Norman Moore. 


JfirSt Joiiintp. 

" nee herba, nee latens in asperis 

Radix fefellit me locis." 

In the month of April, 1812, I left the town of Stab- 
roek, to travel through the wilds of Demerara and 
Bsseqnibo, a part of ci-devant Dutch Guiana, in South 

The chief objects in view were to collect a qua,utity 
of the strongest wourali-poison ; and t,o reach the in- 
land frontier fort of Portuguese Guiana. 

It would be a tedious journey for him who wishes to 
travel through these wilds to set out from Stabroek on 
foot. The sun would exhaust him in his attempts to 
wade through the swamps, and the mosquitos aft night 
would deprive him of every hour of sleep. 

The road for horses runs parallel to the river, bu^ it 
extends a very little way, and even ends, befor. the 
cultivation of the plantation ceases. 


The only mode then that remains is to proceed by 
water ; and when you come to the high lauds, you may 
make your way through the forest on foot, or continue 
your route on the river. 

After passing the third island in the river Demerara, 
there are few plantations to be seen, and those not 
joining on to one another, but separated by large tracts 
of wood. 

The Loo is the last where the sugar-cane is growing. 
The greater part of its negroes have just been ordered 
to another estate ; and ere a few months shall have 
elapsed all signs of cultivation will be lost in under- 

Higher up stand the sugar-works of Amelia's Waard, 
solitary and abandoned ; and after passing these there 
is not a ruin to inform the traveller that either coffee 
or sugar has been cultivated. 

From Amelia's Waard an unbroken range of forest 
covers each bank of the river, saving here and there 
where a hut discovers itself, inhabited by free people 
of colour, with a rood or t^vo of bared ground about 
it ; or where the wood-cutter has erected himself a 
dwelling, and cleared a few acres for pasturage. 
Sometimes you see level ground on each side of you 
f Ox' two or three hours at a stretch ; at other times a 
gen'ly sloping hill presents itself ; and often, on 
turaiiig a point, the eye is pleased with the contrast 


of an almost perpendicular height jutting into the 
water. The trees put you in mind of an eternal 
spring, with summer and autumn kindly blended 
into it. 

Here you may see a sloping extent of noble trees, 
whose foliage displays a charming variety of every 
shade from the lightest to the darkest green and 
purple. The tops of some are crowned with bloom of 
the loveliest hue; while the boughs of others bend 
with a profusion of seeds and fruits. 

Those whose heads have been bared by time, or 
blasted by the thunder-storm, strike the eye, as a 
mournful sound does the ear in music ; and seem to 
beckon to the sentimental traveller to stop a moment 
or -two, and see that the forests which surround him, 
like men and kingdoms, have their periods of misfor- 
tune and decay. 

The first rocks of any considerable size that are ob- 
served on the side of the river are at a place called 
Saba, from the Indian word, which means a stone. 
They appear sloping down to the water's edge, not 
shelvy, but smooth, and their exuberances rounded off, 
and, in some places, deeply fm-rowed, as though they 
had been worn with continual floods of water. 

There are patches of soil up and down, and the huge 
stones amongst them produce a pleasing and novel 
effect. You see a few coffee- trees of a fine luxuriant 


growth ; and nearly on the top of Saba stands the 
liouse of the post-holder. 

He is apj)ointed by government to give in his report 
to the protector of the Indians of what is going on 
amongst them, and to prevent suspicious people from 
passing up the river. 

When the Indians assemble here the stranger may 
have an opportunity of seeing the aborigines dancing 
to the soimd of their country music, and painted in 
their native style. They will shoot their arrows for 
him with an unerring aim, and send the poisoned dart 
from the blow-pipe true to its destination ; and here 
he may often view all the di:fferent shades, from the 
red savage to the white man, and from the white man 
to the sootiest son of Africa. 

Beyond this post there are no more habitations of 
white men, or free people of colour. 

In a country so extensively covered with wood as 
this is, having every advantage that a tropical sun and 
the richest mould, in many places, can give to vegeta- 
tion, it is natural to look for trees of very large 
dimensions; but it is rare to meet with them above 
six yards in circumference. If larger have ever existed, 
they had fallen a sacrifice either to the axe or to fire. 

If, however, they disappoint you in size, they make 
ample amends in height. Heedless and bankrupt in 
Jill curiositv must he bf wlio can journey on without 


stoppiug to take a view of the toweriu^: mora. Its 
topmost branch, when naked with age or dried by 
accident, is the favourite resort of the toucan. Many a 
time has this singular bird felt the shot faintly strike 
him from the gun of the fowler beneath, and owed his 
life to the distance betwixt them. 

The trees which form these far- extending wilds arc 
as useful as they are ornamental. It would take a 
volume of itself to describe them. 

The green-heart, famous for its hardness and dura- 
bility ; the hackea, for its toughness; the ducalabali, 
surpassing mahogany ; the ebony and letter-wood 
vieing with the choicest woods of the old world ; the 
locust tree, yielding copal ; and the hayawa and olou 
trees, furnishing a sweet-smelling resin, are all to be 
met with in the forest, betwixt the plantations and the 
rock Saba. 

Beyond this rock the country has been little ex- 
plored ; but it is very probable that these, and a vast 
collection of other kinds, and possibly many new 
species, are scattered up and down, in all directions, 
through the swamps, and hills, and savannas of oi- 
devant Dutch Guiana. 

On viewing the stately trees around him the natural- 
ist will observe many of them bearing leaves, and 
blossoms, and fruit, not their own. 

The wild jBg-tree, as large as a common English 


apple-tree, often rears itself from one of the thick 
branches at the top of the mora ; and wlien its frnit is 
ripe, to it the birds resort for nourishment. It was to 
an undigested seed, passing through the body of the 
bird which liad perched on the mora, tliat the fig-tree 
first owed its elevated station there. The sap of the 
mora raised it into full bearing ; but now, in its turn, 
it is doomed to contribute a portion of its own sap and 
juices towards the growth of different species of vines, 
the seeds of which, also, the birds deposited on its 
branches. These soon vegetate, and bear fruit in great 
quantities; so what with their usurpation of the 
resources of the fig-tree, and the fig-tree of the mora, 
the mora, unable to support a charge which nature 
never intended it should, languishes and dies under 
its burden ; and then the fig-tree, and its usurping 
progeny of Adnes, receiving no more succour from their 
late foster-parent, droop and perish in their turn. 

A vine called tbe bush-rope by the wood-cutters, on 
account of its use in hauling out the heaviest timber, 
has a singular appearance in the forests of Demerara. 
Sometimes you see it nearly as thick as a man's body, 
twisted like a cork-screw round the tallest trees, and 
rearing its head high above their tops. At other times 
three or four of them, like strands in a cable, join tree 
and tree and branch and branch together. Others, de- 
scending from on high, take root as soon as their ex- 


tremity touches the ground, and appear like slirouds 
and sta3's supporting the main-mast of a line-of-liattle 
ship ; while others, sending out parallel, oblique, hori- 
zontal, and perpendicular shoots in all directions, put 
you in mind of what travellers call a matted forest. 
Oftentimes a tree, above a hundred feet high, uprooted 
by the whirlwind, is stopped in its fall by these 
amazing cables of nature ; and hence it is that you 
account for the phenomenon of seeing trees not only 
vegetating, but sending forth vigorous shoots, though 
far from their perpendicular, and their trunks in- 
clined to every degree from the meridian to the 

Their heads remain firmly supported by the bush- 
rope ; many of their roots soon refix themselves in the 
earth, and frequently a strong shoot will sprout out 
perpendicularly from near the root of the reclined 
trunk, and in time become a fine tree. No grass 
grows under the trees ; and few weeds, except in the 

The high grounds are pretty clear of underwood, 
and with a cutlass to sever the small bush-ropes, it is 
not difficult walking among the trees. 

The soil, chiefly formed by the fallen leaves and 
decayed trees, is very rich and fertile in the valleys. 
On the hills it is little better than sand. The rains 
seem to have carried away and swept into the valleys 


every particle which nature intended to have formed a 

Four-footed animals are scarce, considering how very 
thinly these forests are inhabited by men. 

Several species of the animal commonly called 
tiger, though in reality it approaches nearer to the 
leopard, are found here ; and two of their diminutives, 
named tiger-cats. The tapir, the labba, and deer, 
afford excellent food, and chiefly frequent the swamps 
and low ground, near the sides of the river and creeks. 

In stating that four-footed animals are scarce, the 
peccary must be excepted. Three or four hundred of 
them herd together, and traverse the wilds in all direc- 
tions, in quest of roots and fallen seeds. The Indians 
mostly shoot them with poisoned arrows. When 
wounded, they run about one hundred and fifty paces ; 
they then drop, and make wholesome food. 

The red monkey, erroneously called the baboon, is 
heard oftener than it is seen ; while the common brown 
monkey, the bisa, and sacawinki, rove from tree to tree, 
and amuse the stranger as he journeys on. 

A species of the polecat, and another of the fox, are 
destructive to the Indian's poultry ; while the opossum, 
the guana, and salempeuta afford him a delicious 

The small ant-bear, and the large one, remarkable 
for its long, broad, bushy tail, are sometimes seen on 


tlie tops of tlie wood-ants' nests ; the armadillos bore 
in the sand-hills, like rabbits in a warren ; and the 
porcupine is now and then discovered in the trees over 
your head. 

This, too, is the native country of the sloth. His 
looks, his gestures, and his cries, all conspire to enti-eat 
you to take pity on him. These are the only weapons 
of defence which nature has given him. While other 
animals assemble in herds, or in pairs range througli 
these boundless wilds, the sloth is solitary, and almost 
stationary ; he cannot escape from you. It is said, liis 
piteous moans make the tiger relent, and turn out of 
the way. Do not then level your gun at him, or pierce 
him with a poisoned arrow; he has never hurt one 
living creature. A few leaves, and those of the 
commonest and coarsest kind, are all he asks for his 
support. On comparing him with other animals, you 
would say that you could perceive deficiency, deformity, 
and superabundance in his composition. He has no 
cutting teeth, and though four stomachs, he still wants 
the long intestines of ruminating animals. He has 
only one inferior aperture, as in birds. He has no 
soles to his feet, nor has he the power of moving bis 
toes separately. His hair is flat, and puts you in mind 
of grass withered by the wintry blast. His legs are 
too short ; they appear deformed by the manner in 
which they are joined to the body ; and when he is on 


the ground, they seem as if only calculated to be of 
use in climbing trees. He has forty-six ribs, while the 
elephant has only forty ; and his claws are dispropor- 
tionably long. Were you to mark down, upon a gra- 
duated scale, the diif erent claims to superiority amongst 
the four-footed animals, this poor ill-formed creature's 
claim would be the last upon the lowest degree. 

Demerara yields to no country in the world in her 
wonderful and beautiful productions of the feathered 
race. Here the finest precious stones are far surpassed 
by the vwid tints which adorn the birds. The 
naturalist may exclaim, that nature has not known 
where to stop in forming new species, and painting her 
requisite shades. Almost every one of those singular 
and elegant birds described by Buif on as belonging to 
Cayenne are to be met with in Demerara ; but it is 
only by an indefatigable naturalist that they are to be 

The scarlet curlew breeds in innumerable quantities 
in the muddy islands on the coasts of Pomauron ; the 
egrets and crabiers in the same place. They resort to 
the mud-flats at ebbing water, while thousands of sand- 
pipers and plovers, with here and there a spoonbill 
and flamingo, are seen amongst them. The pelicans 
go farther out to sea, but return at sundown to the 
courada trees. The humming-birds are chiefly to be 
found near the flowers at which each of the species of 


the genus is wont to feed. The pie, the gallinaceous, 
the columbine, and passerine tribes, resort to the fruit- 
bearing trees. 

You never fail to see the common vulture where 
there is carrion. In passing up the river there was an 
opportunity of seeing a pair of the king of the vultures ; 
they were sitting on the naked branch of a tree, with 
about a dozen of the common ones with them. A tiger 
had killed a goat the day before ; he had been driven 
away in the act of sucking the blood, and not finding 
it safe or prudent to return, the goat remained in the 
same place where he had killed it ; it had begun to 
putrefy, and the vultures had arrived that morning to 
claim the savoury morsel. 

At the close of day, the vampires leave the hollow 
trees, whither they had fled at the morning's dawn, and 
scour along the river's banks in quest of prey. On 
waking from sleep, the astonished traveller finds his 
hammock all stained with blood. It is the vampire 
that has sucked him. Not man alone, but every un- 
protected animal, is exposed to his depredations ; and 
so gently does this nocturnal surgeon draw the blood, 
that instead of being roused, the patient is lulled into a 
still prof ounder sleep. There are two species of vam- 
pire in Demerara, and both suck living animals ; one is 
rather larger than the common bat ; the other measures 
above two feet from wing to wing extended. 

46 WANDERi:?^GS IN^ 

Snakes are frequently met with in the woods betwixt 
the sea-coast and the rock Saba, chiefly near the creeks 
and on the banks of the river. They are large, beauti- 
ful, and formidable. The rattlesnake seems partial to 
a tract of ground known by the name of Canal Number 
Three ; there the effects of his poison will be long re- 

The camoudi snake has been killed from thirty to 
forty feet long ; though not venomous, his size renders 
him destructive to the passing animals. The Spaniards 
in the Oroonoque positively aflBrm that he grows to the 
length of seventy or eighty feet, and that he will de- 
stroy the strongest and largest bull. His name seems 
to confirm this ; there he is called " matatoro," which 
literally means " bull-killer." Thus he may be ranked 
amongst the deadly snakes : for it comes nearly to the 
same thing in the end, whether the victim dies by 
poison from the fangs, which corrupts his blood and 
makes it stink horribly, or whether his body be crushed 
to mummy and swallowed by this hideous beast. 

The whipsnake, of a beautiful changing green, and 
the coral with alternate broad transverse bars of black 
and red, glide from bush to bush, and may be handled 
with safety ; they are harmless little creatures. 

The labarri snake is speckled, of a dirty brown 
colour, and can scarcely be distinguished from the 
gi'ound or stump on which he is coiled up ; he grows 


to the length of about eight feet, and his bite often 
proves fatal in a few minutes. 

Unrivalled in his display of every lovely colour fd 
the rainbow, and unmatched in the effects of his deadly 
poison, the counacouchi glides undaunted on, sole 
monarch of these forests ; he is commonly known by 
the name of the bush-master. Both man and beast 
fly before him, and allow him to pursue an undisputed 
path. He sometimes grows to the length of fourteen 

A few small caymans, from two to twelve feet loHg, 
may be observed now and then in passing up and 
down the river : they just keep their heads above the 
water, and a stranger would not know them from a 
rotten stump. 

Lizards of the finest green, brown, and copper 
colour, from two inches to two feet and a half long, are 
ever and anon rustling among the fallen leaves, and 
crossing the path before you ; whilst the chameleon is 
busily employed in chasing insects round the trunks of 
the neighbouring trees. 

The fish are of many different sorts, and well-tasted, 
but not, generally speaking, very plentiful. It is pro- 
bable that their numbers are considerably thinned 
by the otters, which are much larger than those of 
Europe. In going through the overflowed savannas 
which have all a communication with the river, you 


may often see a dozen or two of them sporting among 
the sedges before yon. 

This warm and Immid climate seems particidarly 
adapted to the producing of insects ; it gives birth to 
myriads, beautiful past description in their variety of 
tints, astonishing in their form and size, and many of 
them noxious in their qualities. 

He whose eye can distinguish the various beauties 
of uncultivated nature, and whose ear is not shut to the 
wild sounds in the woods, will be delighted in passing 
up the river Demerara. Every now and then, the 
maam or tinamou sends forth one long and plaintive 
whistle from the depths of the forest, and then stops ; 
whilst the yelping of the toucan, and the shrill voice 
of the bird called pi-pi-yo, is heard during the interval. 
The campanero never fails to attract the attention of 
the passenger : at a distance of nearly three miles 
you may hear this snow-white bird tolling every four 
or five minutes, like the distant convent bell. From 
six to nine in the morning the forests resound with the 
mingled cries and strains of the feathered race ; after 
this they gradually die away. From eleven to three 
all nature is hushed as in a midnight silence, and 
scarce a note is heard, saving that of the campanero 
and the pi-pi-yo; it is then that, oppressed by the 
solar heat, the birds retire to the thickest shade and 
wait for tlie refreshing cool of evening. 


At suu-clowu the vampires, bats, and goat-suckers 
dart from their lonely retreat, aud skim along the 
trees on tlie river's bank. The diii'erent kinds of frogs 
almost stun the ear with their hoarse and hollow-sound- 
ing croaking, while the owls aud goat-suckers lament 
and mourn all night long. 

About two hours before daybreak you will hear the 
red monkey moaning as though in deep distress ; the 
houtou, a solitary bird, and only found in the thickest 
recesses of the forest, distinctly articulates, " houtou, 
houtou," in a low and plaintive tone, an hour before 
sunrise ; the maam whistles about the same hour ; the 
Jiannaquoi, pataca, and maroudi announce his near 
approach to the eastern horizon, and the parrots and 
parroquets confirm his arrival there. 

The crickets chirp from sunset to sunrise, and often 
during the day, when the weather is cloudy. The 
beterouge is exceeding numerous in these extensive 
wilds, and not only man, but beasts and birds, are tor- 
mented by it. Mosquitos are very rare after you pass 
the third island in the Demerara, and sand-flies but 
seldom appear. 

Courteous reader, here thou hast the outlines of an 
amazing landscape given thee ; thou wilt see that the 
principal parts of it are but faintly traced, some of 
them scarcely visible at all, and that the shades are 
wholly wanting. If thy soul partakes of the ardent 


flame which the persevering Muugo Park's did, these 
outlines will be enough for thee : for they will give 
some idea of what a noble country this is : and if thou 
hast but courage to set about giving the world a 
finished picture of it, neither materials to work on, nor 
colours to paint it in its true shades, will be wanting 
to thee. It may a^jpear a difficult task at a distance ; 
but look close at it, and it is nothing at all ; provided 
thou hast but a quiet mind, little more is necessary, and 
the Greuius which presides OA^er these wilds will kindly 
help thee through the rest. She will allow thee to slay 
the fawn, and to cut down the mountain-cabbage for thy 
support, and to select from every part of her domain 
whatever may be necessary for the work thou art 
about ; but having killed a pair of doves in order to 
enable thee to give mankind a true and proper descrip- 
tion of them, thou must not destroy a third through 
wantonness, or to show what a good marksman thou 
art ; that would only blot the picture thou art finishing, 
not colour it. 

Though retired from the haunts of men, and even 
without a friend with thee, thou wouldst not find it 
solitary. The crowing of the hannaquoi will sound in 
thine ears like the daybreak town-clock ; and the wren 
and the thrush will join with thee in thy matin h}Tnn 
to thy Creator, to thank Him for thy night's rest. 

At noon the G-enius will lead thee to the troely, one 


leaf of which will defend thee from both sun and rain. 
And if, in the cool of the evening:, thou hast been 
tempted to stray too far from thy plaoe of abode, and 
art deprived of light to write down the information 
thou hast collected, the fireflv, wliich thou wilt see in 
almost every bush around thee, will be thy candle. 
Hold it over thy pocket-book, in any position which 
thou knowest will not hurt it, and it will aiford thee 
ample light. And when thou hast done with it, put it 
kindly back again on the next branch to thee. It will 
want no other reward for its services. 

When in thy hammock, should the thought of thy 
little crosses and disappointments, in thy ups and 
downs through life, break in upon thee, and throw thee 
into a pensive mood, the owl will bear thee company. 
She will tell thee that hard has been her fate too ; and, 
at intervals, " Whip-poor- Will " and "Willy come 
go " will take up the tale of sorrow. Ovid has told 
thee how the owl once boasted the human form, and 
lost it for a very small offence; and were ihe poet 
alive now, he would inform thee that " Whip-poor- 
Will," and " Willy come go," are the shades of those 
poor African and Indian slaves, who died worn out and 
broken-hearted. They wail and cry, "Whip-poor- 
Will," " Willy come go," all night long ; and of trn 
when the moon sliines you see them sitting on tli(> 
green turf, near the houses of those whose ancestors 


tore them from the bosom of tlieir helpless families, 
which all probably perished through grief aud want 
after their support was gone. 

About an hour above tlie rock of Saba stands the 
liabitation of an Indian, called Simon, on the top of a 
hill. The side next the river is almost perpendicular, 
and you may easily throw a stone over to ihe 
opposite bank. Here there was an opportunity of 
seeing man in his rudest state. Tlie Indians who 
frequented this habitation, though living in the midst 
of woods, bore evident marks of attention to their 
persons. Their hair was neatly collected, and tied up 
in a knot ; their bodies fancifully painted red, and the 
paint was scented with hayawa. This gave them a 
gay and animated appearance. Some of them had on 
necklaces, composed of the teeth of Avild boars slain in 
the chase ; many wore rings, aud others had an orna- 
ment on the left arm, midway betwixt the shoulder 
and the elbow. At the close of day they regularly 
bathed in the river below ; and the next morning 
seemed busy in renewing the faded colours of their 

One day there came into the hut a form which 
literally might be called the wild man of the woods. 
On entering, he laid down a ball of wax, which he had 
collected in the forest. His hammock was all ragged 
and torn ; and his bow, though of good wood, was 


without any ornameut or polish; " erubuit domino, 
cultior esse suo.' His face was meagre, his looks 
forbidding, and his whole appearance neglected. His 
long black hair hung from his head in matted con- 
fusion ; nor had his body to all appearance ever been 
painted. They gave him some cassava bread and 
boiled fish, which he ate voraciously, and soon after 
left the hut. As he went out you could observe no 
traces in his countenance or demeanour which indicated 
that he was in the least mindful of having been 
benefited by the society he was just leaving. 

The Indians said that he had neither wife, nor child, 
nor friend. They had often tried to persuade him to 
come and live amongst them ; but all was of no avail. 
He went roving on, plundering the wild bees of their 
honey, and picking up the fallen nuts and fruits of 
the forest. When he fell in with game, he procured 
fire from two sticks, and cooked it on the spot. When 
a hut happened to be in his way, he stepped in and 
asked for something to eat, and then months elapsed 
ere they saw him again. They did not know what had 
caused him to be thus unsettled ; he had been so for 
years; nor did they believe that even old age itself 
would change the habits of this poor, harmless, 
solitary wanderer. 

From Simon's, the traveller may reach the large 
fall with ease in four days. 


The first falls that he meets are merely rapids, 
scarce a stoue appearing above the water iu the raiii}' 
season ; and those iu the bed of the river barely high 
enough to arrest the water's course, and by causing a 
bubbling, show that they are there. 

With this small change of appearance in the stream, 
the stranger observes nothing new till he comes within 
eight or ten miles of the great fall. Each side of the 
river presents an uninterrupted range of wood, just as 
it did below. All the productions found betwixt the 
plantations and the rock Saba are to be met with here. 

From Simon's to the great fall there are five 
habitations of the Indians — two of them close to the 
river's side ; the other three a little way in the forest. 
These habitations consist of from four to eight huts, 
situated, on about an acre of ground which they have 
cleared from the surrounding woods. A few pappaw, 
cotton, and mountain cabbage-trees are scattered round 

At one of these habitations a small quantity of the 
wourali -poison was procured. It was in a little gourd. 
The Indian who had it said that he had killed a 
number of wild hogs with it and two tapirs. Appear- 
ances seemed to confirm what he had said ; for on one 
side it had been nearly taken out to the bottom at 
different times, which probably would not have been 
the case had the first or second trial failed. 


Its strength was proved on a middle-sized dog. He 
was wounded in the thigh, in order that there might be 
no possibility of touching a vital part. In three or four 
minutes he began to be affected, smelt at every little 
thing on the ground around him. and looked wistfully 
at the wounded part. Soon after this he staggered, 
laid himself down, and never rose more. He barked 
once, thoiigli not as if in pain. His voice was low and 
weak ; and in a second attempt it quite failed him. 
He now put his head betwixt his fore-legs, and raising 
it slowly again, he fell over on his side. His eyes 
immediately became fixed, and though his extremities 
every now and then shot convulsively, he never showed 
the least desire to raise up his head. His heart 
fluttered much from the time he lay down, and at 
intervals beat very strong ; then stopped for a moment 
or two, and then beat again ; and continued faintly 
beating several minutes after every other part of his 
body seemed dead. 

In a quarter of an hour after he had received the 
poison he was quite motionless. 

A few miles before you reach the great fall, and 
which, indeed, is the only one wliich can be called a 
fall, large balls of froth come floating past you. The river 
appears beautifully marked with streaks of foam, and 
on your nearer approach the stream is whitened all over. 

At first, you behold the fall rushing down a bed of 


rocks, with a tremendous noise, diA* ided into two foamy 
streams, wliieli at their junction again form a small 
island covered with wood. Above this island, for a 
short space, there appears but one stream all white 
with froth, and fretting and boiling amongst the huge 
rocks which obstruct its course. 

Higher up it is seen dividing itself into a short 
channel or two, and trees grow on the rocks which 
caused its separation. The torrent in many places has 
eaten deep into the rocks, and split them into large 
fragments by driving others against them. The trees 
on the rocks are in bloom and vigour, though their 
roots are half bared, and many of them bruised and 
broken by the rushing waters. 

This is the general appearance of the fall from the 
level of the water below to where the river is smooth 
and quiet above. It must be remembered that this is 
during the periodical rains. Probably in the dry 
season it puts on a very different appearance. There 
is no perpendicular fall of water of any consequence 
throughout it, but the dreadful roaring and rushing of 
the torrent down a long, rocky, and moderately sloping 
channel has a fine effect ; and the stranger returns 
well pleased with what he has seen. No animal, nor 
craft of any kind, could stem this downward flood. In 
a few moments the first would be killed, the second 
dashed in pieces. 


The Indians have a path alongside of it, through the 
forest, where prodigious crabwood trees grow. Up 
this path they drag their canoes, and launch tliem into 
the river above ; and on their return bring them down 
the same way. 

About two hours below this fall is the habitation of 
an Acoway chief called Sinkerman. At night you 
hear the roaring of the fall from it. It is pleasantly 
situated on the top of a sand-hill. At this place you 
have the finest view the river Demerara affords : three 
tiers of hills rise in slow gradation, one above the 
other before you, and present a grand and magnificent 
scene, especially to him who has been accustomed to a 
level country. 

Here, a little after midnight on the first of May, 
was heard a most strange and imaccountable noise ; it 
seemed as though several regiments were engaged, and 
musketry firing with great rapidity. The Indians, 
terrified beyond description, left their hammocks and 
crowded all together, like sheep at the approach of the 
wolf. Tliere were no soldiers within three or four 
hundred miles. Conjecture was of no avail, and all 
conversation next morning on the subject was as use- 
less and unsatisfactory as the dead' silence which 
succeeded to the noise. 

He who wishes to reach the Macoushi country had 
better send his canoe over laud from Sinkerman's to 
the Essequibo. 


Tliore is a pretty good patli, and meeting a creek 
about tliree-quavters of the way, it eases the labour, 
and twelve Indians will arrive with it in the Essequibo 
iu four days. 

The traveller need not attend his canoe ; there is a 
shorter and a better way. Half an hour below Sinker- 
man's he finds a little creek on the western bank of 
the Demerara. After proceeding about a couple of 
hundred yards up it, he leaves it, and pursues a west- 
north-west direction by land for the Essequibo. The 
path is good, though somewhat rugged .with the roots 
of trees, and here and there obstructed by fallen ones ; 
it extends more over level ground than otherwise. 
There are a few steep ascents and descents in it, with 
a little brook running at the bottom of them ; but they 
are easily passed over, and the fallen trees serve for a 

You may reach the Essequibo with ease in a day 
and a half ; and so matted and interwoven are the tops 
of the trees above you, that the sun is not felt once all 
the way, saving where the space which a newly-fallen 
tree occupied lets in his rays upon you. The forest 
contains an abundance of wild hogs, lobbas, acouries, 
powisses, maams, maroudis, and waracabas for your 
nourishment, and there are plenty of leaves to cover a 
shed whenever you are inclined to sleep. 

The soil has three-fourths of sand in it, till you come 


within half an hour's walk of the Essequibo, where 
you find a red gravel and rocks. In this retired and 
solitary tract, nature's garb, to all appearance, has not 
been injured by fire, nor her productions broken in 
upon by the exterminating hand of man. 

Here the finest green-heart grows, and wallaba, 
purple-heart, siloabali. sawari, buletre, tauronira, and 
mora, are met with in vast abundance, far and near, 
towering up in majestic grandeur, straight as pillars* 
sixty or seventy feet high, without a knot or branch. 

Traveller, forget for a little while the idea thou hast 
of wandering farther on, and stop and look at this grand 
picture of vegetable nature ; it is a reflection of the 
crowd thou hast lately been in, and though a silent 
monitor, it is not a less eloquent one on that account. 
See that noble purple-heart before thee ! Nature has 
been kind to it. Not a hole, not the least oozing 
from its trunk, to show that its best days are past. 
Vigorous in youthful blooming beauty, it stands the 
ornament of these sequestered wilds, and tacitly re- 
bukes those base ones of thine own species who have 
been hardy enough to deny the existence of Him who 
ordered it to flourish there. 

Behold that one next to it I — Hark I how the 
hammerings of the red-headed woodpecker' resound 
through its distempered boughs ! See what a quantity 
of holes he has made in it, and how its bark is stained 


with the drops wliicli trickle down from them. The 
liglitniug, too, has blasted one side of it. Nature 
looks pale and wan in its leaves, and her resources are 
nearly dried up in its extremities ; its sap is tainted ; 
a mortal sickness, slow as a consumption, and as sure 
in its consequences, has long since entered its frame, 
vitiating and destroying the wholesome juices there. 

Step a few paces aside, and cast thine eye on that 
remnant of a mora behind it. Best part of its branches, 
once so high and ornamental, now lie on the ground in 
sad confusion one upon the other, all shattered and 
fungiTS-grown, and a j)rey to millions of insects, which 
are busily employed in destroying them. One branch 
of it still looks healthy ! Will it recover ? No, it 
cannot; nature has already run her course, and that 
healthy looking branch is only as a fallacious good 
sjTnptom in him who is just about to die of a mortifi- 
cation when he feels no more pain, and fancies his 
distemper has left him ; it is as the momentary gleam 
of a wintry sun's ray close to the western horizon. — 
See ! while we are speaking, a gust of wind has brought 
the tree to the ground, and made room for its successor. 

Come farther on, and examine that apparently 
luxuriant tauronira on thy right hand. It boasts a 
verdure not its own ; they are false ornaments it wears ; 
the bush-rope and bird- vines have clothed it from the 
root to its topmost branch. The succession of fruit 


which it liath borne, like good cheer iu the houses of 
the great, has invited the birds to resort to it, and they 
have disseminated beautiful, though destructive, plants 
on its branches, which, like the distemi^ers vice brings 
into the human frame, rob it of all its health and 
vigour; they have shortened its days, and probably 
in another year they will finally kill it, long before 
nature intended that it should die. 

Ere thou leavest this interesting scene, look on the 
ground around thee, and see what everything here 
below must come to. 

Behold that newly fallen wallaba ! The whirlwind 
has uprooted it in its prime, and it has brought down 
to the ground a dozen small ones in its fall. Its bark 
has already begun to di-op off 1 And that heart of 

mora close by it is fast yielding, in spite of its firm, 

tough texture. 

The tree which thou passedst but a little ago, and 

which perhaps has lain over yonder brook for years, 

can now hardly support itself, and in a few months 

more it will have fallen into the water. 

Put thy foot on that large trunk thou seest to the 

left. It seems entire amid the surrounding fragments. 

Mere outward appearance, delusive phantom of what 

it once was ! Tread on it, and like the fuss-baU, it 

will break into dust. 

Sad and silent mementoes to the giddy traveller as 


he wanders on ! Prostrate remnants of vegetable 
nature, liow incontestably ye prove what we must all 
at last come to, and how plain your mouldering ruins 
show that the firmest texture avails us nought when 
Heaven wills tliat we should cease to be! — 

" The cloud -cajip'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, 
The solemn temples, the great globe itself, 
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, 
And, like the baseless fabric of a vision, 
Leave not a rack behind." 

Cast thine eye around thee, and see the thousands 
of nature's productions. Take a view of them from 
the opening seed on the surface, sending a downward 
shoot, to the loftiest and the largest trees, rising up 
and blooming in wild luxuriance ; some side by side, 
others separate ; some curved and knotty, others 
straight as lances, all in beautiful gradation, fulfilling 
the mandates they had received from Heaven, and 
though condemned to die, still never failing to keep 
up their species till time shall be no more. 

Reader, canst thou not be induced to dedicate a few 
months to the good of the public, and examine with 
thy scientific eye the productions which the vast and 
well-stored colony of Demerara presents to thee ? 

What an immense range of forest is there from the 
rock Snba to the great fall ! and what an uninterrupted 
extent before thee from it to the banks of the Esse- 


quibo ! No doubt, there is many a balsam and many a 
medicinal root yet to be discovered, and many a rosin, 
gum, and oil yet unnoticed. Thy work would be a 
pleasing one, and thou mightest make several useful 
observations in it. 

Would it be thought impertinent in thee to hazard 
a conjecture, that, with the resources the Government of 
Demerara has, stones might be conveyed from the rock 
Saba to Stabroek to stem the equinoctial tides, which 
are for ever sweeping away the expensive wooden piles 
around the mounds of the fort ? Or would tlie timber- 
merchant point at thee in passing by, and call thee a 
descendant of La Mancha's kniglit, because thou main- 
tainest that the stones which form the rapids might be 
removed with little expense, and thus open the naviga- 
tion to the woodcutter from Stabroek to the great fall ? 
Or wouldst thou be deemed enthusiastic or biassed, 
because thou givest it as thy opinion that the climate 
in these high lands is exceedingly wholesome, and the 
lands themselves capable of nourishing and maintaining 
any number of settlers ? In thy dissertation on the 
Indians, thou mightest hint, that possibly they could 
be induced to help the new settlers a little ; and that, 
finding their labours well requited, it would be the 
means of their keeping up a constant communication 
with us, which probably might be the means of laying 
the first stone towards their Christianitv. Thev are 


a poor, liarmless, iuoffensive set of people, and their 
wanderings and ill-provided way of living seem more 
to ask for pity from us, than to fill our heads with 
thoughts that they would be hostile to us. 

What a noble field, kind reader, for thy experimental 
philosophy and speculations, for tliy learning, for thy 
perseverance, for thy kind-heartedness, for everything 
that is great and good witliin thee ! 

The accidental traveller who has journeyed on from 
Stabroek to the rock Saba, and from thence to the banks 
of the Essequibo, in pursuit of other things, as he told 
thee at the beginning, with but an indifferent inter- 
preter to talk to, no friend to converse with, and 
totally unfit for that which he wishes thee to do, can 
merely mark the outlines of the j)ath he has trodden, 
or tell thee the sounds he has heard, or faintly describe 
what he has seen in the environs of his resting-places ; 
but if this be enough to induce thee to undertake the 
journey, and give the world a description of it, he will 
be amply satisfied. 

It will be two days and a half from the time of 
entering the path on the western bank of the Demerara 
till all be ready, and the canoe fairly afloat on the 
Essequibo. The new rigging it. and putting every 
little thing to rights aud in its proper place, cannot 
well be done in less than a day. 

After being night and day in the forest impervious 


to the sun and moon's rays, the sudden transition to 
light lias a fine heart-cheering effect. Welcome as a 
lost friend, the solar beam makes the frame rejoice, 
and with it a thousand enlivening thoughts rush at 
once on the soul, and disj^erse, as a vapour, every sad 
and sorrowful idea, which the deep gloom had helped 
to collect there. In coming out of the woods, you see 
the western bank of the Essequibo before you, low 
and flat. Here the river is two-thirds as broad as the 
Demerara at Stabroek. 

To the northward there is a hill higher than any in 
the Demerara ; and in the south-south-west quarter a 
mountain. It is far away, and appears like a bluish 
cloud in the horizon. There is not the least opening 
on either side. Hills, valleys, and lowlands, are all 
linked together by a chain of forest. Ascend the 
highest mountain, climb the loftiest tree, as far as the 
eye can extend, whichever way it directs itself, all is 
luxuriant and unbroken forest. 

In about nine or ten hours from this, you get to an 
Indian habitation of three huts, on the point of an 
island. It is said that a Dutch post once stood here ; 
but there is not the smallest vestige of it remaining, 
and, except that the trees appear younger than those 
on the other islands, which shows that the place has 
been cleared some time or other, there is no mark left 
by which you can conjecture that ever this was a post 
c— 54 


The many islands wbicli you meet with in the way, 
enliven and change the scene, by the avenues which 
they make, which look like the mouths of other rivers, 
and break that long- extended sameness which is seen 
in the Demerara. 

Proceeding onwards, you get to the falls and rapids. 
In the rainy season they are very tedious to pass, and 
often stop your course. In the dry season, by stepping 
from rock to rock, the Indians soon manage to get a 
canoe over them. But when the river is swollen, as 
it was in May, 1812, it is then a difficult task, and 
often a dangerous one too. At that time many of the 
islands were overflowed, the rocks covered, and the 
lower branches of the trees in the water. Sometimes 
the Indians were obliged to take everything out of the 
canoe, cut a passage through the branches, which hung 
over into the river, and then drag up the canoe by 
main force. 

At one place, the falls form an oblique line quite 
across the river, impassable to the ascending canoe, 
and you are forced to have it dragged four or five hun- 
dred yards by land. 

It will take you five days, from the Indian habitation 
on the point of the island, to where these falls and 
rapids terminate. 

There are no huts in the way. You must bring your 
own cassava-bread along with you, himt in the forest 


for yonr meat, and make the night's shelter for your- 

Here is a noble range of hills, all covered with the 
finest trees, rising majestically one above the other, on 
the western bank, and presenting as rich a scene as 
ever tlie eye would wish to look on. Il^othing in 
vegetable nature can be conceived more charming, 
grand, and luxuriant. 

How the heart rejoices in viewing this beautiful 
landscape ! when the sky is serene, the air cool, and 
the sun just sunk behind the mountain's top. 

The hayawa-tree perfumes the woods around ; pairs 
of scarlet aras are continually crossing the river. 
The maam sends forth its plaintive note, the wren 
chants its evening song. The caprimulgus wheels in 
busy flight around the canoe, while "whip-poor-will" 
sits on the broken stump near the water's edge, com- 
plaining as the shades of night set in. 

A little before you pass the last of these rapids two 
immense rocks appear, nearly on the summit of one 
of the many hills which form this far-extending range 
where it begins to fall off gradually to the south. 

They look like two ancient stately towers of some 
Gothic potentate, rearing their heads above the sur- 
rounding trees. What with their situation and their 
shape together, they strike the beholder with an idea 
of antiquated grandeur which he will never forget. 


He may travel far and near and see nothing like them. 
On looking at tliem through a glass, the summit of the 
southern one appeared e^o\^med with bushes. The one 
to the north was quite bare. The Indians have it from 
their ancestors that they are the abode of an evil 
genius, and they pass in the river below with a re- 
verential awe. 

In about seven hours from these stupendous sons of 
the hill, you leave the Essequibo, and enter the river 
Apourapoura, which falls into it from the south. The 
Apourapoura is nearly one-third the size of the Deme- 
rara at Stabroek. For two days you see nothing but 
level ground, richly clothed in timber. You leave the 
Siparouni to the right hand, and on the third day come 
to a little hill. The Indians have cleared about an 
acre of ground on it, and erected a temporary shed. If 
it be not intended for provision-ground alone, perhaps 
the next wliite man who travels through these remote 
wilds will find au Indian settlement here. 

Two days after leaving this, you get to a rising 
ground on the western bank, where stands a single 
hut ; and about half a mile in the forest there are a 
few more ; some of them square, and some round with 
spiral roofs. 

Here the fish called pacou is very plentiful : it is 
perhaps the fattest and most delicious fish in Guiana. 
It does not take the hook, but the Indians decoy it to 


the surface of the water by means of the seeds of the 
crabwood-tree, and then shoot it with an arrow. 

You are now within the borders of Macoushia, in- 
habited by a different tribe of people, called Macoushi 
Indians ; uncommonly dexterous in the use of the blow- 
pipe, and famous for their skill in preparing the 
deadly vegetable poison commonly called wourali. 

It is from this country that those beautiful paro- 
quets named kessi-kessi are procured. Here the 
crystal mountains are found ; and here the three dif- 
ferent species of the ara are seen in great abundance. 
Here, too, grows the tree from which the gum-elastic 
is got ; it is large, and as tall as any in the forest. 
The wood has much the appearance of sycamore. The 
gum is contained in the bark : when that is cut through 
it oozes out very freely : it is quite white, and looks 
as rich as cream : it hardens almost immediately as it 
issues from the tree ; so that it is very easy to collect 
a ball, by forming the juice into a globular shape as 
fast as it comes out ; it becomes nearly black by being 
exposed to the air, and is real Indian rubber without 
undergoing any other process. 

The elegant crested bird called cock of the rock, 
admirably described by Buffon, is a native of the 
woody mountains of Macoushia. In the daytime he 
retires amongst the darkest rocks, and only comes out 
to feed a little before sunrise, and at sunset ; he is of 


a gloomy disposition, and. like tlie houtou, never 
associates with tlie other birds of the forest. 

The Indians in the just-mentioned settlement seemed 
to depend more on the wourali-poison for kiUing their 
game than upon anything else. They had only one 
gun, and it appeared rusty and neglected ; but their 
poisoned weapons were in fine order. Their blow- 
pipes hung from the roof of the hut, carefuUy sus- 
pended by a silk-grass cord ; and on taking a nearer 
view of them, no dust seemed to have collected there, 
nor had the spider spun the smallest web on them ; 
which showed that they were in constant use. The 
quivers were close by them, with the jaw-bone of the 
fish pirai tied by a string to their brim, and a small 
wicker-basket of wild cotton, which hung down to the 
centre; they were nearly full of poisoned arrows. It 
was with difficulty these Indians could be persuaded to 
part with any of the wourali-poison, though a good 
price was offered for it; they gave me to understand 
that it was powder and shot to them, and very difficult 
to be procured. 

On the second day after leaving the settlement, in 
passing along, the Indians show you a place where 
once a white man lived. His retiring so far from 
those of his own colour and acquaintance seemed to 
carry something extraordinary along with it, and 
raised a desire to know what could have induced him 


to do SO. It seems he liad been unsuccessful, and that 
his creditors had treated him with as little mercj as 
the strong generally sliow to the weak. Seeing his 
endeavours daily frustrated, and his best intentions of 
no avail, and fearing that when they had taken all he 
had they would probably take his liberty too, he 
thought the world would not be hard-hearted enough 
to condemn him for retiring from the evils which 
pressed so heavily on him, and which he had done all 
that an honest man could do to ward off. He left his 
creditors to talk of him as they thought fit, and 
bidding adieu for ever to the place in which he had 
once seen better times, he penetrated thus far into 
those remote and gloomy wilds, and ended his days 

According to the new map of South America, Lake 
Parima, or the White Sea, ought to be within three 
or four days' walk from this place. On asking tlie 
Indians whether there was such a place or not, and 
describing that the water was fresh and good to drink, 
an old Indian, who appeared to be about sixty, said 
that there was such a place, and that he had been 
there. This information would have been satisfactory 
in some degree, had not the Indians carried the point 
a little too far. It is very large, said another Indian, 
and ships come to it. Now these unfortunate ships 
were the very things which were not wanted ; had he 


kept them out, it might have done, hut his introducing 
tliem was sadly against the lake. Thus you must 
either suppose that the old savage and his companion 
had a confused idea of the thing, and that probably 
the Lake Parima they talked of was the Amazons, not 
far from the city of Para, or that it was their intention 
to deceive you. You ought to be cautious in giving 
credit to their stories, otherwise you will be apt to be 
led astray. 

Many a ridiculous thing concerning the interior of 
Guiana has been propagated and received as true, 
merely because six or seven Indians, questioned sepa- 
rately, have agreed in their narrative. 

Ask those who live high up in the Demerara, and 
they will, every one of them, tell you that there is a 
nation of Indians with long tails ; that they are very 
malicious, cruel and ill-natured ; and that the Portu- 
guese have been obliged to stop them off in a certain 
river, to prevent their depredations. They have also 
dreadful stories concerning a horrible beast, called 
the watermamma, which, when it happens to take a 
spite against a canoe, rises out of the river, and in the 
most unrelenting manner possible carries both canoe 
and Indians down to the bottom with it, and there 
destroys them. Ludicrous extravagances ; pleasing to 
those fond of the marvellous, and excellent matter for 
a distempered brain. 


The misinformed and timid court of policy in De- 
raerara was made the dupe of a savage, who came 
down the Essequibo, and gave himself out as king of a 
mighty tribe. This naked wild man of the woods 
seemed to hold the said court in tolerable contempt, 
and demanded immense supplies, all which he got; 
and moreover, some time after, an invitation to come 
down the ensuing year for more, which he took care 
not to forget. 

This noisy chieftain boasted so much of his dynasty 
and domain, that the G-overnment was induced to send 
up an expedition into his territories to see if he had 
spoken the truth, and nothing but the truth. It ap- 
peared, however, that his palace was nothing but a 
hut, the monarch a needy savage, the heir-apparent 
nothing to inherit but his father's club and bow and 
arrows, and his officers of state wild and uncultivated 
as the forests through which they strayed. 

There was nothing in the hut of this savage, saving 
the presents he had received from Government, but 
what was barely sufficient to support existence ; no- 
thing that indicated a power to collect a hostile force ; 
nothing that showed the least progress towards civilisa- 
tion. All was rude and barbarous in the extreme, 
expressive of the utmost poverty and a scanty popula- 

Tou may travel six or seven days without seeing a 


hut, and when yon reach a settlement it seldom con- 
tains more than ten. 

The further you advance into the interior the more 
you are convinced that it is thinly inhabited. 

The day after passing the place where the white 
man lived you see a creek on the left hand, and shortly 
after the path to the open country. Here you drag 
the canoe up into the forest, and leave it there. Tour 
baggage must now be carried by the Indians. The 
creek you passed in the river intersects the path to the 
next settlement : a large mora has fallen across it, and 
makes an excellent bridge. After walking an hour 
and a half you come to the edge of the forest, and a 
savanna unfolds itself to the view. 

The finest park that England boasts falls far short 
of this delightful scene. There are about two thou- 
sand acres of grass, with here and there a clump of 
trees, and a few bushes and single trees scattered up 
and down by the hand of Nature. The ground is 
neither hilly nor level, but diversified with moderate 
rises and falls, so gently running into one another 
that the eye cannot distinguish where they begin, nor 
where they end, while the distant black rocks have 
the appearance of a herd at rest. Nearly in the 
middle there is an eminence, which falls off gradually 
on every side ; and on this the Indians have erected 
their huts. 


To the northward of them the forest forms a 
circle, as though it had been done bj art ; to the east- 
ward it hangs in festoons ; and to the south and west 
it rushes in abruptly, disclosing a new scene behind it 
at every" step as you advance along. 

This beautiful park of nature is quite surrounded 
by lofty hills, all arrayed in superbest garb of trees ; 
some in the form of pyramids, others like sugar-loaves 
towering one above the other ; some rounded off, and 
others as though they had lost their apex. Here two 
hills rise up in spiral summits, and tlie wooded line 
of communication betwixt them sinks so gradually tliat 
it forms a crescent ; and there the ridges of others 
resemble the waves of an agitated sea. Beyond these 
appear others, and others past them ; and others still 
farther on, till they can scarcely be distinguished from 
the clouds. 

There are no sand-flies, nor bete-rouge, nor mos- 
quitos in this pretty spot. The fire-flies during the 
night vie in numbers and brightness with the stars in 
the fii'mament above : the air is pure, and the north- 
east breeze blows a ref resiling gale throughout the day. 
Here the white-crested maroudi, which is never found 
in the Demerara, is pretty plentiful ; and here grows 
the tree wliich produces the morau, sometimes called 
balsam capivi. 

Your route lies south from this place ; and at the 


extremity of the savanna yon enter the forest, and 
journey along a winding path at the foot of a hill. 
There is no habitation within this day's walk. The 
traveller, as usual, must sleep in the forest. The path 
is not so good the following day. The hills over 
which it lies are rocky, steep, and rugged, and the 
spaces betwixt them swampy, and mostly knee-deep in 
water. After eight hours' walk you find two or three 
Indian huts, surroimded by the forest ; and in little 
more than half an hour from these you come to ten or 
twelve others, where you pass the night. They are 
prettily situated at the entrance into a savanna. The 
eastern and western hills are still covered with wood ; 
but on looking to the south-west quarter you perceive 
it begins to die away. In these forests you may find 
plenty of the trees which yield the sweet-smelling 
resin called acaiari, and which, when pounded and 
burnt on charcoal, gives a delightful fragrance. 

From hence you proceed, in a south-west direction, 
through a long swampy savanna. Some of the hills 
which border on it have nothing but a thin coarse 
grass and huge stones on them ; others, quite wooded ; 
others with their summits crowned, and their base 
quite bare ; and others, again, with their summits 
bare, and their base in thickest wood. 

Half of this day's march is in water, nearly up to 
the knees. There are four creeks to pass; one of 


them has a fallen tree across it. You must make your 
owii bridge across the other three. Probably, were the 
truth known, these apparently four creeks are only the 
meanders of one. 

The jabiru, the largest bird in Guiana, feeds in the 
marshy savanna through which you have just passed. 
He is wary and shy, and will not allow you to get 
within gun-shot of him. 

Tou sleep this night in the forest, and reach an 
Indian settlement about three o'clock the next evening, 
after walking one-third of the way tlirough wet and 
miry ground. 

But, bad as the walking is through it, it is easier 
than where you cross over the bare hills, where you have 
to tread on sharp stones, most of them lying edgewise. 

The ground gone over these two last days seems 
condemned to perpetual solitude and silence. There 
was not one four-footed animal to be seen, nor even 
the marks of one. It would have been as silent as 
midnight, and all as still and unmoved as a monument 
had not the jabiru in the marsh, and a few vultures 
soaring over the mountain's top, shown that it was not 
quite deserted by animated nature. There were no 
insects, except one kind of fly about one-fourth the size 
of the common house-fly. It bit cruelly, and was much 
more tormenting than the mosquito on the sea-coast. 

This seems to be the native country of the arrow- 


root. Wherever jou passed through a patch of wood 
in a low situation, there you found it growing 

The Indian place you are now at is not the proper 
place to have come to in order to reach the Portuguese 
frontiers. You have advanced too much to the west- 
ward. But there was no alternative. The ground 
betwixt you and another small settlement (which was 
the right place to have gone to) was overflowed ; and 
thus, instead of proceeding southward, you were 
obliged to wind along the foot of the western hills, 
quite out of your way. 

But the grand landscape this place affords makes 
you ample amends for the time you have spent in 
reaching it. It would require great descriptive powers 
to give a proper idea of the situation these people have 
chosen for their dwelling. 

The hill they are on is steep and high, and full of 
immense rocks. The huts are not all in one place, but 
dispersed wherever they have found a place level 
enough for a lodgment. Before you ascend the hill 
you see at intervals an acre or two of wood, then an 
open space, with a few huts on it, then wood again, 
and then an open space, and so on, till the inter- 
vening of the western hills, higher and steeper still, 
and crowded with trees of the loveliest shades, closes 
the enchantinsr scene. 


At the base of this hill stretches an immense plain, 
which appears to the eye, on this elevated spot, as 
level as a bowling-green. The mountains on the 
other side are piled one upon the other in romantic 
forms, and gradually retire, till they are indiscernible 
from the clouds in which they are involved. To the 
south-south-west this far-extending plain is lost in the 
horizon. The trees on it, which look like islands on 
the ocean, add greatly to the beauty of the landscape; 
wliile the rivulet's course is marked out by the seta- 
trees which follow its meanders. 

Not being able to pursue the direct course from 
hence to the next Indian habitation on account of the 
Hoods of water which fall at this time of the year, you 
take a circuit westerly along the mountain's foot. 

At last a large and deep creek stops your progress : 
it is wide and rapid, and its banks very steep. There 
is neither curial nor canoe, nor purple -heart tree in the 
neighbourhood to make a wood-skin to carry you over, 
so tliat you are obliged to swim across ; and by the 
time you have formed a kind of raft, composed of 
bouglis of trees and coarse grass, to ferry over your 
baggage, the day will be too far spent to think of 
proceeding. You must be very cautious before you 
venture to swim across this creek, for the alligators 
are numerous, and near twenty feet long. On the 
present occasion ihe Indians took uncommon pre- 


cautions lest they should be devoured by this cruel 
and voracious reptile. They cut long sticks, and 
examined closely the side of the creek for half a mile 
above and below the place where it was to be crossed ; 
and as soon as the boldest had swum over, lie did the 
same on the other side, and then all followed. 

After passing the night on the opposite bank, which 
is well wooded, it is a brisk walk of nine hours before 
you reach four Indian huts, on a rising ground a few 
hundred paces from a little brook, whose banks are 
covered over with coucourite and seta trees. 

This is the place you ought to have come to two 
days ago had the water permitted you. In crossing 
the plain at the most advantageous place you are 
above ankle-deep in water for three hours ; the re- 
mainder of the way is dry, the ground gently rising. 
As the lower parts of this spacious plain put on some- 
what the appearance of a lake during the periodical 
rains, it is not improbable but that this is the place 
which hath given rise to the supposed existence of the 
famed Lake Parima, or El Dorado ; but this is mere 

A few deer are feeding on the coarse rough grass of 
this far-extending plain ; they keep at a distance from 
you, and are continually on the look-out. 

The spur-winged plover, and a species of the 
curlew, black, with a white bar across the wings, 


nearly as large again as tlie scarlet curlew on tlie 
sea-coast, frequently rise before you. Here, too, the 
Moscovy duck is numerous ; and large flocks of two 
other kinds wheel round you as you pass on, but keep 
out of gun-shot. The milk-white egrets, and jabirus, 
are distinguished at a great distance ; and in the seta 
and coucourite trees you may observe flocks of scarlet 
and blue aras feeding on the seeds. 

It is to these trees that the largest sort of toucan 
resorts. He is remarkable by a large black spot on 
the point of his fine yellow bill. He is very scarce in 
Demerara, and never seen except near the sea-coast. 

The ants' nests have a singular appearance on this 
plain. They are in vast abundance on those parts of 
it free from water, and are formed of an exceeding 
hard yellow clay. They rise eight or ten feet from the 
ground in a spiral form, impenetrable to the rain, and 
strong enough to defy the severest tornado. 

The wourali-poison, procured in these last-mentioned 
huts, seemed very good, and proved afterwards to be 
very strong. 

There are now no more Indian settlements betwixt 
you and the Portuguese frontiers. If you wish to 
visit their fort, it would be advisable to send an Indian 
with a letter from hence, and wait his return. On the 
present occasion a very fortunate circumstance oc- 
curred. The Portuguese commander had sent some 


Indians and soldiers to bnild a canoe, not far from 
this settlement ; tliey had just finished it, and those 
who did not stay with it had stopped here on their 

The soldier who commanded the rest, said he, durst 
not, upon any account, convey a stranger to the fort ; 
but he added, as there were two canoes, one of them 
miglit be despatched with a letter, and then we could 
proceed slowly on in the other. 

About three hours from this settlement there is a 
river called Pirarara ; and here the soldiers had left 
their canoes while they were making the new one. 
From the Pirarara you get into the river Maou, and 
then into the Tacatou; and just where the Tacatou 
falls into the Rio Branco, there stands the Portuguese 
frontier fort, called Fort St. Joachim. From the time 
of embarking in the river Pirarara, it takes you four 
days before you reach this fort. 

There was nothing very remarkable in passing down 
tliese rivers. It is an open country, producing a 
coarse grass, and interspersed with clumps of trees. 
The banks have some wood on them, but it appears 
stunted and crooked, like that on tlie bleak hills in 

The tapir frequently plunged into the river; he 
was by no means shy, and it was easy to get a shot at 
him on land. The kessi-kessi paroquets were in 


ii-reat abuudauce ; and the fine scarlet ara innumer- 
able in the coucourite trees at a distance from the 
river's bank. In the Tacatou was seen the troupiale. 
It was charming to hear the sweet and plaintive notes 
of this pretty songster of the wilds. The Portnguese 
call it the nightingale of Guiana. 

Towards the close of the fourth evening, the canoe, 
which had been sent on with a letter, met us with the 
commander's answer. During its absence, the nights 
had been cold and stormy, the rain had fallen in 
torrents, the days cloudy, and there was no sun to 
dry the wet hammocks. Exposed thus, day and night, 
to the chilling blast and pelting shower, strength of 
constitution at last failed, and a severe fever came on. 
The commander's answer was very polite. He re- 
marked, he regretted much to say that he had re- 
ceived orders to allow no stranger to enter the frontier, 
and this being the case, he hoped I would not con- 
sider him as uncivil. " However," continued he, " I 
have ordered the soldier to land you at a certain dis- 
tance from the fort, where we can consult together." 

We had now arrived at the place, and the canoe 
which brought the letter returned to the fort, to tell 
the commander I had fallen sick. 

The sun had not risen above an hour the morning 
after when the Portuguese officer came to the spot 
where we had landed the preceding evening. He was 


tall and spare, and appeared to be from fifty to fifty- 
five years old; and, tliougli thirty years of service 
under an equatorial sun had burnt and shrivelled up 
his face, still there was something in it so inexpres- 
sibly affable and kind, that it set you immediately at 
vour ease. He came close up to the hammock, and 
taking hold of my wrist to feel the pulse, " I am sorry, 
sir," said he, '' to see that the fever has taken such 
hold of you. You shall go directly with me," con- 
tinued he, " to the fort ; and though we have no 
doctor there, I trust," added he, " we shall soon bring 
you about again. The orders I have received for- 
bidding the admission of strangers were never in- 
tended to be put in force against a sick English 

As the canoe was proceeding slowly down the river 
towards the fort, the commander asked, with much 
more interest than a question in ordinary conversation 
is asked, where was I on the night of the first of May ? 
On telling him that I was at an Indian settlement a 
little below the great fall in the Demerara, and that 
a strange and sudden noise had alarmed all the 
Indians, he said the same astonishing noise had 
roused every man in Fort St. Joachim, and that they 
remained under arms till morning. He observed 
that he had been quite at a loss to form any idea 
what could have caused the noise ; but now learning 


that the same noise had been heard at the same 
time far away from the Eio Brauco, it struck him 
there must have been an eartliquake somewhere or 

Good nourishment and rest, and the unwearied 
attention and kindness of the Portuguese commander, 
stopped the progress of the fever, and enabled me to 
walk about in six days. 

Fort St. Joachim was built about five - and - forty 
years ago, under the apprehension, it is said, that the 
Spaniards were coming from the Rio Negro to settle 
there. It has been much neglected; the floods of 
v^ater have carried away the gate, and destroyed the 
wall on each side of it ; but the present commander is 
putting it into thorough repair. When finished, it 
will mount six nine- and six twelve-pounders. 

In a straight line with the fort, and within a few 
yards of the river, stand the commander's house, the 
barracks, the chapel, the father confessor's house, and 
two others, all at little intervals from each other ; and 
these are the only buildings at Fort St. Joachim. 
The neighbouring extensive plains afford good pas- 
turage for a fine breed of cattle, and the Portuguese 
make enough of butter and cheese for their own con- 

On asking the old officer if there were such a place 
as Lake Parima, or El Dorado, he replied, he looked 


upon it as imaginary altogetlier. " I have been above 
forty years," added he, "in Portuguese G-uiana, but 
have never yet met with anybody who has seen the 

So much for Lake Parima, or El Dorado, or the 
White Sea. Its existence at best seems doubtful ; 
some aflB.rm that there is such a place, and others 
deny it. 

" Grammatici certant, et adhuc sub judice lis est." 

Having now reached the Portuguese inland frontier, 
and collected a sufficient quantity of the wourali- 
poison, nothing remains but to give a brief account 
of its composition, its eit'ects, its uses, and its sup- 
posed antidotes. 

It has been already remarked that in the extensive 
wilds of Demerara and Essequibo, far away from any 
European settlement, there is a tribe of Indians who 
are known by the name of Macoushi. 

Though the wourali-poison is used by all the South 
American savages betwixt the Amazons and the Oroo- 
noque, still this tribe makes it stronger than any of 
the rest. The Indians in the vicinity of the Rio 
Negro are aware of this, and come to the Macoushi 
country to purchase it. 

Much has been said concerning this fatal and ex- 
traordinary poison. Some have affirmed that its effects 


are almost instantaneous, provided the minutest par- 
ticle of it mixes witli the blood; and others again 
have maintained that it is not strong enough to kill 
an animal of the size and strength of a man. The 
first have erred by lending a too willing ear to the 
marvellous, and believing assertions without sufficient 
proof. The following short story points out the ne- 
cessity of a cautious examination : — 

One day, on asking an Indian if he thought the 
poison would kill a man, he replied that they always 
go to battle with it ; that he was standing by when an 
Indian was shot with a poisoned arrow, and that he 
expired almost immediately. Not wishing to dispute 
this apparently satisfactory information, the subject 
was dropped. However, about an hour after, having 
purposely asked him in what part of the body the 
said Indian was wounded, he answered without hesi- 
tation that the arrow entered betwixt his shoulders, 
and passed quite through his heart. Was it the 
weapon, or the strength of the poison, that brought 
on immediate dissolution in this case? Of course 
the weapon. 

The second have been misled by disappointment, 
caused by neglect in keeping the poisoned arrows, or 
by not knowing how to use them, or by trying inferior 
poison. If the arrows are not kept dry, the poison 
loses its strength ; and in M'et or damp weather it 


turns mouldy, and becomes quite soft. In shooting 
an arrow in this state, upon examining the place where 
it has entered, it will be observed that, though the 
arrow has penetrated deep into the flesh, still by far 
the greatest part of the poison has shrunk back, and 
thus, instead of entering with the arrow, it has re- 
mained collected at the mouth of the wound. In this 
case the arrow might as well not hare been poisoned. 
Probably, it was to this that a gentleman, some time 
ago, owed his disappointment, when he tried the 
poison on a liorse in the town of Stabroek, the capital 
of Demerara ; the horse never betrayed the least 
symptom of being affected by it. 

"Wishful to obtain the best information concerning 
this poison, and as repeated inquiries, in lieu of dissi- 
pating the surrounding shade, did but tend more and 
more to datken the little light that existed, I deter- 
mined to penetrate into the country where the 
poisonous ingredients grow, where this pernicious 
composition is prepared, and where it is constantly 
used. Success attended the adventure ; and the in- 
formation acquired made amends for one hundred and 
twenty days passed in the solitudes of Guiana, and 
afforded a balm to the wounds aud bruises which 
every traveller must expect to receive who wanders 
through a thorny and obstructed path. 

Thou must not, courteous reader, expect a disserta- 


tiou on the manner in which the wourali-poison operates 
on the system; a treatise has been already written 
on the subject; and, after all, there is probably still 
reason to doubt. It is supposed to affect the nervous 
system, and thus destroy the vital functions; it is 
also said to be perfectly harmless, provided it does 
not touch the blood. However, this is certain, when 
a sufficient quantity of it enters the blood, death is the 
inevitable consequence ; but there is no alteration in 
the colour of the blood, and both the blood and flesh 
may be eaten with safety. 

All that thou wilt find here is a concise, unadorned 
account of the wourali-poison. It may be of service 
to thee some time or other, shouldst thou ever travel 
through the wilds where it is used. Neither attribute 
to cruelty, nor to a want of feeling* for the sufferings 
of the inferior animals, the ensuing experiments. The 
larger animals were destroyed in order to have proof 
l^ositive of the strength of a poison which hath 
hitherto been doubted : and the smaller ones were 
killed with the hope of substantiating that which has 
commonly been supposed to be an antidote. 

It makes a pitying heart ache to see a poor creature 
in distress and pain ; and too often has the compas- 
sionate traveller occasion to heave a sigli as he 
journeys on. However, here, though the kind-hearted 
will be sorry to read of an unoffending animal doomed 


to death in order to satisfy a doubt, still it will be a 
relief to know that the victim was not tortured. The 
wourali-poison destroys life's action so gently, that 
the victim appears to be in no pain whatever ; and 
probably, were the truth known, it feels none, 
saving the momentary smart at the time the arrow 

A day or two before the Macoushi Indian prepares 
his poison, he goes into the forest in quest of the ingre- 
dients. A vine grows in these wilds, which is called 
wourali. It is from this that the poison takes its 
name, and it is the principal ingredient. When he 
has procured enough of this, he digs up a root of a 
very bitter taste, ties them together, and then looks 
about for two kinds of bulbous plants, which contain a 
green and glutinous juice. He fills a little quake, 
which he carries on his back, with the stalks of these ; 
and, lastly, ranges up and down till he finds two 
species of ants. One of them is very large and 
black, and so venomous that its sting produces a 
fever; it is most commonly to be met with on the 
ground. The other is a little red ant, which stings 
like a nettle, and generally has its nest under the leaf 
of a shrub. After obtaining these, he has no more 
need to range the forest. 

A quantity of the strongest Indian pepper is used ; 
but this he has already planted round his hut. The 


pounded fangs of the labarri snake, and those of the 
counacouchi, are likewise added. These he commonly 
has in store ; for when he kills a snake, he generally 
extracts the fangs, and keeps them by him. 

Having thus found the necessary ingredients, he 
scrapes the wourali vine and bitter root into thin 
shavings, and puts them into a kind of colander made 
of leaves ; this he holds over an' earthen pot, and 
pours water on the shavings : the liquor which comes 
through has the appearance of coffee. When a suffi- 
cient quantity has been procured, the shavings are 
thrown aside. He then bruises the bulbous stalks 
and squeezes a proportionate quantity of their juice 
through his hands into the pot. Lastly, the snakes' 
fangs, ants, and pepper are bruised, and thrown into 
it. It is then placed on a slow fire, and as it boils 
more of the juice of- the wourali is added, according 
as it may be found necessary, and the scum is taken 
off with a leaf : it remains on the fire till reduced to 
a thick syrup of a deep brown colour. As soon as 
it has arrived at this state, a few arrows are poisoned 
with it to try its strength. If it answers the expecta- 
tions, it is poured out into a calabash, or little pot of 
Indian manufacture, which is carefully covered with 
a couple of leaves, and over them a piece of deer's 
skin, tied round witli a cord. They keep it in the 
most dry part of the hut ; and from time to time 


suspend it over the fire, to counteract the effects of 

The act of preparing this poison is not considered 
as a common one : the savage may shape his bow, 
fasten the barb on the point of his arrow, and make 
his other implements of destruction, either lying in 
his hammock, or in the midst of his family ; but if he 
has to prepare the wourali-poison, many precautions 
are supposed to be necessary. 

The women and young girls are not allowed to be 
present, lest the yabahou, or evil spirit, should do 
them hami. The shed under which it has been boiled 
has been pronounced polluted and abandoned ever 
after. He who makes the poison must eat nothing 
that morning, and must continue fasting as long as 
the operation lasts. The pot in which it is boiled 
must be a new one, and must never have held anything 
before, otherwise the poison would be deficient in 
strength : add to this that the operator must take par- 
ticular care not to expose himself to the vapour which 
arises from it while on the fire. 

Though this and other precautions are taken, such 
as frequently washing the face and hands, still the 
Indians think that it affects the health; and the 
operator either is, or, what is more probable, supposes 
himself to be, sick for some days after. 

Thus it appears that the making the wourali-poison 


is considered as a gloomy and mysterious operation ; 
and it would seem that they imagine it affects others 
as well as him who boils it ; for an Indian agreed one 
evening to make some for me, but the next morning he 
declined having an)i:hing to do with it, alleging that 
his wife was with child ! 

Here it might be asked, are all the ingredients 
just mentioned necessary, in order to produce the 
wourali-poison ? Though our opinions and conjec- 
tures may militate against the absolute necessity of 
some of them, still it would be hardly fair to pro- 
nounce them added by the hand of superstition, till 
proof positive can be obtained. 

We might argue on the subject, and, by bringing 
forward instances of Indian superstition, draw our 
conclusion by inference, and still remain in doubt on 
this head. You know superstition to be the offspring 
of ignorance, and of course that it takes up its abode 
amongst the rudest tribes of uncivilised man. It even 
too often resides with man in his more enlightened 

The Augustan age furnishes numerous examples. 
A bone snatched from the jaws of a fasting bitch, and 
a feather from the wing of a night-owl, — "ossa ab ore 
rapta jejunse canis, plumamque nocturuse strigis," — 
were necessary for Canidia's incantations. And in 
aftertimes, Parson Evans, the Welshman, was treated 


most ungenteelly by an enraged spirit, solely because 
he had forgotten a fumigation in his "witeh-work. 

If, then, enlightened man lets his better sense give 
way, and believes, or allows himself to be persuaded, 
that certain substances and actions, in reality of no 
avail, possess a virtue which renders them useful in 
producing the wished-f or effect ; may not the wild, 
untaught, unenlightened savage of Guiana, add an 
ingredient which, on account of the harm it does him, 
he fancies may be useful in the perfection of his poison, 
though, in fact, it be of no use at all ? If a bone 
snatched from the jaws of a fasting bitch be thought 
necessary in incantation ; or if witchcraft have re- 
course to the raiment of the owl, because it resorts to 
the tombs and mausoleums of the dead, and wails and 
hovers about at the time that the rest of animated 
nature sleeps ; certainly the savage may imagine that 
the ants, whose sting causes a fever, and the teeth of 
the labarri and counacouehi snakes, which convey 
death in a very short space of time, are essentially 
necessary in the composition of his poison ; and being 
once impressed with this idea, he will add them every 
time he makes the poison, and transmit the absolute 
use of them to his posterity. The question to be 
answered seems not to be if it is natural for the 
Indians to mix these ingredients, but if they are 
essential to make the poison. 


So mucli for the preparing of this vegetable essence 
— terrible importer of death into whatever animal it 
enters. Let us now see how it is used ; let us examine 
the weapons which bear it to its destination, and take 
a view of the poor victim, from the time he receives 
Ids wound till death comes to his relief. 

When a native of Macoushia goes in quest of fea- 
thered game or other birds, he seldom carries his bow 
and arrows. It is the blow-pipe he then uses. This 
extraordinary tube of death is, perhaps, one of the 
greatest natural curiosities of Gruiana. It is not 
found in the country of the Macoushi. Those Indians 
tell you that it grows to the south-west of them, in the 
wilds which extend betwixt them and the Rio Negro. 
The reed must grow to an amazing length, as the 
part the Indians use is from ten to eleven feet long, 
and no tapering can be perceived in it, one end being 
as thick as the other. It is of a bright yellow colour, 
perfectly smooth both inside and out. It grows hol- 
low ; nor is there the least appearance of a knot or 
joint throughout the whole extent. The natives call 
it ourah. This, of itself, is too slender to answer 
the end of a blow-pipe; but there is a species of 
palma, larger and stronger, and common in Guiana, 
and this the Indians make use of as a case, in which 
they put the ourah. It is brown, susceptible of a fine 
polish, and appears as if it had joints five or six 


inches from each other. It is called samonrah, and 
the pulp inside is easily extracted, by steeping it for 
a few days in water. 

Thus the ourah and samourah, one within the 
other, form the blow-pipe of Guiana. The end which 
is applied to the mouth is tied round with a small 
silk-grass cord, to prevent its splitting; and the other 
end, which is apt to strike against the ground, is 
secured by the seed of the acuero fruit, cut horizon- 
tally through the middle, with a hole made in the end, 
through which is put the extremity of the blow-pipe. 
It is fastened on with string on the outside, and the 
inside is filled up with wild bees'-wax. 

The arrow is from nine to ten inches long. It is 
made out of the leaf of a species of palm-tree, called 
coucourite, hard and brittle, and pointed as sharp as a 
needle. About an inch of the pointed end is poisoned. 
The other end is burnt to make it still harder, and 
wild cotton is put round it for about an inch and 
a half. It requires considerable practice to put on this 
cotton well. It must just be large enough to fit the 
hollow of the tube, and taper off to nothing down- 
wards. They tie it on with a thread of the silk-grass, 
to prevent its slipping off the arrow. 

The Indians have shown ingenuity in making a 
quiver to hold the arrows. It will contain from 
five to six hundred. It is generally from twelve to 


fourteen inclies long, and in shape resembles a dice-box 
used at backgammon. The inside is prettily done in 
basket-work, with wood not unlike bamboo, and the 
outside has a coat of wax. The cover is all of one 
piece, formed out of the skin of the tapir. Round the 
centre there is fastened a loop, large enough to admit 
the arm and shoulder, from which it hangs when used. 
To the rim is tied a little bunch of silk-grass, and half 
of the jawbone of the fish called pirai, with which 
the Indian scrapes the point of his arrow. 

Before he puts the arrows into the quiver, he links 
them together by two strings of cotton, one string at 
each end, and then folds them round a stick, which is 
nearly the length of the quiver. The end of the stick, 
which is upj)ermoet, is guarded by two little pieces of 
wood crosswise, with a hoop round their extremities, 
which appears something like a wheel ; and this saA^es 
the hand from being wounded when the quiver is re- 
versed in order to let the bunch of arrows drop out. 

There is also attached to the quiver a little kind of 
basket, to hold the wild cotton, which is put on the 
blunt end of the arrow. With a quiver of poisoned 
arrows slung over his shoulder, and with his blowpipe 
in his hand, in the same position as a soldier carries his 
musket, see the Macoushi Indian advancing towards 
the forest in quest of powises, maroudis, waracabas. 
and other feathered game. 
D— 54 


These generally sit high up iu the tall and tufted 
trees, but still are not out of the Indian's reach ; for 
liis blowpipe, at its greatest elevation, will send an 
arrow three hundred feet. Silent as midnight he 
steals under them, and so cautiously does he tread the 
gi-ound that the fallen leaves rustle not beneath his 
feet. His ears are oj)en to the least sound, while his 
eye, keen as that of the lynx, is employed in finding 
out the game in the thickest shade. Often he imitates 
their cry, and decoys them from tree to tree, till they 
are within range of his tube. Then taking a poisoned 
arrow from his quiver, he puts it in the blowpipe, and 
collects his breath for the fatal puff. 

About two feet from the end through which he 
blows there are fastened two teeth of the acouri, and 
these serve him for a sight. Silent and swift the 
arrow flies, and seldom fails to pierce the object at 
which it is sent. Sometimes the wounded bird remains 
in the same tree where it was shot, and in three 
minutes falls down at the Indian's feet. Should he 
take wing, his flight is of short duration, and the 
Indian, following the direction he has gone, is sure to 
find him dead. 

It is natui'al to imagine that, when a slight wound 
only is inflicted, the game will make its escape. Far 
otlierwise ; the wourali-poison almost instantaneously 
mixes with blood or water, so that if you wet your 


finger, and dasli it along the poisoned arrow in the 
quickest manner possible, jou are sure to carry off 
some of the poison. Though three minutes generally 
elapse before the convulsions come on in the wounded 
bird, still a stupor evidently takes place sooner, and 
this stupor manifests itself by an apparent unwilling- 
ness in the bird to move. This was very visible in a 
dying fowl. 

Having procured a healthy full-grown one, a short 
piece of a poisoned blowpipe arrow was broken off 
and run up into its thigh, as near as possible betwixt 
the skin and the flesh, in order that it might not be 
incommoded by the wound. For the first minute it 
walked about, but walked very slowly, and did not 
appear the least agitated. During the second minute 
it stood still, and began to peck the ground ; and ere 
half another had elapsed, it frequently opened and 
.shut its mouth. The tail had now dropped, and the 
wings almost touched the ground. By the termination 
of the third minute, it had sat down, scarce able to 
support its head, which nodded, and then recovered 
itself, and then nodded again, lower and lower every 
time, like that of a weary traveller slumbering in an 
erect position; the eyes alternately open and shut. 
The fourth minute brought on convulsions, and life 
and the fifth terminated together. 

The flesh of the game is not in the least injured by 


the poison, nor does it appear to corrupt sooner than 
that killed by the gun or knife. The body of this 
fowl was kept for sixteen hours, in a climate damp and 
rainy, and within seven degrees of the equator ; at the 
end of which time it had contracted no bad smell what- 
ever, and there were no symptoms of putrefaction, 
saving that, just round the wound, the flesh appeared 
somewhat discoloured. 

The Indian, on his return home, carefully suspends 
his blowpipe from the top of his spiral roof ; seldom 
placing it in an oblique position, lest it should receive 
a cast. 

Here let the blowpipe remain suspended, while you 
take a view of the arms which are made to slay the 
larger beasts of the forest. 

When the Indian intends to chase the peccari, or 
surprise the deer, or rouse the tapir from his marshy 
retreat, he carries his bow and arrows, which are very 
different from the weapons already described. 

The bow is generally from six to seven feet long, and 
strung with a cord, spun out of the silk-grass. The 
forests of Guiana furnish many species of hard wood, 
tough and elastic, out of which beautiful and excellent 
bows are formed. 

The arrows are from four to five feet in length, 
made of a yellow reed without a knot or joint. It is 
found in great plenty up and down throughout Guiana. 


A piece of hard wood, about nine inches long, is in- 
serted into the end of the reed, and fastened with 
cotton well waxed. A square hole, an inch deep, is 
then made in the end of this piece of hard wood, 
done tight round with cotton to keep it from splitting. 
Into this square hole is fitted a spike of coucourite 
wood, poisoned, and which may be kept there, or taken 
out at pleasure. A joint of bamboo, about as thick as 
your finger, is fitted on over the poisoned spike, to 
prevent accidents and defend it from the rain, and is 
taken off when the arrow is about to be used. Lastly, 
two feathers are fastened on the other end of the reed 
to steady it in its flight. 

Besides his bow and arrows, the Indian carries a 
little box made of bamboo, which holds a dozen or 
fifteen poisoned spikes six inches long. They are 
poisoned in the following manner : a small piece of 
wood is dipped in the poison, and with this they give 
the spike a first coat. It is then exposed to the sun or 
fire. After it is dry, it receives another coat, and is 
then dried again ; after this a third coat, and some- 
times a fourth. 

They take great care to put the poison on thicker at 
the middle than at the sides, by which means the spike 
retains the shape of a two-edged sword. It is rather a 
tedious operation to make one of these arrows com- 
plete; and as the Indian is not famed for industry, 


except Tvlien pressed by hunger, he has hit npon a plan 
of preserving his arrows which deserves notice. 

About a quarter of an inch above the part where 
the coucourite s^^ike is fixed into the square hole, he 
cuts it half through ; and thus, when it has entered 
the animal, .the weight of the arrow causes it to break 
off there, by which means the arrow falls to the ground 
uninjured ; so that, should this be the only arrow he 
happens to have with him. and should another shot 
immediately occur, he has only to take another 
poisoned spike out of his little bamboo box, fit it on 
his arrow, and send it to its destination. 

Thus armed with deadly poison, and hungiy as the 
hysena, he ranges through the forest in quest of the 
wild beast's track. Xo hound can act a surer part. 
Without clothes to fetter him, or shoes to bind his 
feet, he observes the footsteps of the game, where an 
European eye could not discern the smallest vestige. 
He pursues it through all its turns and windings with 
astonishing perseverance, and success generally crowns 
his efforts. The animal, after receiving the poisoned 
arrow, seldom retreats two hundred paces before it 

In passing overland from the Essequibo to the 
Demerara we fell in with a herd of wild hogs. 
Though encumbered with baggage, and fatigued with 
a hard day's walk, an Indian got his bow ready, and 


let fly a poisoued arrow at one of them. It entered 
the cheek-bone and broke off. The wild hog was 
found quite dead about one hundred and seventy paces 
from the place where lie had been shot. He afforded 
us an excellent and wholesome sujjper. 

Thus the savage of Gruiana, independent of the 
common weapons of destruction, has it in his power to 
prepare a poison, by which he can generally ensure to 
himself a supply of animal food ; and the food so 
destroyed imbibes no deleterious qualities. Nature 
has been bountiful to him. She lias not only ordered 
poisonous herbs and roots to grow in the unbounded 
forests through which he strays, but has also furnished 
an excellent reed for his arrows, and another, still 
more singular, for his blowpipe ; and planted trees of 
an amazing hard, tough, and elastic texture, out of 
which he forms his bows. And in order that notliing 
might be wanting, she has superadded a tree which 
yields him a fine wax, and disseminated up and down, 
a plant not unlike that of the pineapple, which affords 
him capital bowstrings. 

Having now followed the Indian in the chase, and 
described the poison, let us take a nearer view of its 
action, and observe a large animal expiring under the 
weight of its baneful virulence. 

Many have doubted the strength of the wourali- 
poisou. Should they ever by chance read what follows. 


probalDly tlieir doubts on that score will be settled for 

lu tlie former experiment on tbe bog some faint 
resistance on the part of nature was observed, as if 
existence struggled for superiority ; but in the follow- 
ing instance of the sloth life sank in death without the 
least apparent contention, without a crv, without a 
struggle, and without a groan. This was an ai, or 
three-toed sloth. It was in the possession of a gentle- 
man who was collecting curiosities. He wished to have 
it killed, in order to preserve the skin, and the 
wourali-poison was resorted to as the easiest death. 

Of all animals, not even the toad and tortoise 
excej)ted, this poor ill-formed creature is the most 
tenacious of life. It exists long after it has received 
wounds which would have destroyed any other animal ; 
and it may be said, on seeing a mortally woimded 
sloth, that life disputes with death every inch of flesli 
in its body. 

The ai was wounded in the leg, and put down on the 
floor, about two feet from the table ; it contrived to 
reach the leg of the table, and fastened himself on it, 
as if wishful to ascend. But this was its last advanc- 
ing step : life was ebbing fast, though imperceptibly ; 
nor could this singular production of nature, which has 
been formed of a texture to resist death in a thousand 
shapes, make any stand against the wourali-poison. 


First, one fore-leg let go its hold, and dropped 
down motionless by its side ; the otlier gradually did 
the same. The fore-legs having now lost their strength, 
the sloth slowly doubled its body, and placed its head 
betwixt its hind-legs, which still adhered to the table ; 
but when the poison had affected these also it sank to 
the ground, but sank so gently, that you could not 
distinguish the movement from an ordinary motion; 
and had you been ignorant that it was wounded with a 
poisoned arrow, you would never have suspected that it 
was dying. Its mo'jLth was shut, nor had any froth or 
saliva collected there. 

There was no suhsultus tendinnm, or any visible 
alteration in its breathing. During the tenth minute 
from the time it was wounded it stirred, and tliat was 
all; and the minute after life's last spark went out. 
From the time the poison began to operate, you would 
have conjectured that sleep was overpowering it, and 
you would hav€ exclaimed, " Pressitque jacentem, 
dulcis et alta quies, placidaeque simillima morti." 

There are now two positive proofs of the effect of this 
fatal poison, viz., the death of the hog, and that of tlie 
sloth. But still these animals were nothing remarkable 
for size ; and the strength of the poison in large animals 
might yet be doubted, were it not for what follows. 

A large well-fed ox, from nine hundred to a 
thousand pounds' weiglit, was tied to a stake by a rope 


sufficiently long to allow him to move to and fro. 
Having no large coucoiirite spikes at hand, it was 
judged necessary, on account of his superior size, to 
put three wild-hog arrows into him ; one was sent 
into each thigh just above the hock, in order to avoid 
wounding a vital part, and the third was shot trans- 
versely into the extremity of the nostril. 

The poison seemed to take effect in four minutes. 
Conscious as though he would fall, the ox set himself 
firmly on his legs, and remained quite still in the same 
place till about the fourteenth minute, when he 
smelled the ground, and appeared as if inclined to 
walk. He advanced a pace or two, staggered, and 
fell, and remained extended on his side with his head 
on the ground. His eye, a few minutes ago so bright 
and lively, now became fixed and dim. and though 
you put your hand close to it. as if to give him a blow 
there, he never closed his eyelid. 

His legs were convulsed, and his head from time 
to time started involuntarily ; but he never showed the 
least desire to raise it from the ground ; he breathed 
hard, and emitted foam from his mouth. The startings, 
or siibsulhis tendinum^ now became gradually weaker 
and weaker ; his hinder parts were fixed in death ; and 
in a minute or two more his head and fore-legs ceased 
to stir. 

Nothing now remained to show that life was still 


within him, except that his heart faintly beat and 
fluttered at intervals. In five-and-twenty minutes 
from the time of his being wounded h'3 was quite dead. 
His flesh was very sweet and savoury at dinner. 

On taking a retrospective view of the two different 
kinds of poisoned arrows, and the animals destroyed 
by them, it would appear that the quantity of poison 
must be proportioned to the animal, and thus those 
probably labour under an error who imagine that the 
smallest x^article of it introduced into the blood has 
almost instantaneous effects. 

Make an estimate of the difference in size betwixt 
the fowl and the ox, and then weigh a sujficient quan- 
tity of j)oison for a blowpipe arrow with which the 
fowl was killed, and weigh also enough poison for 
three wild-hog arrows which destroyed the ox, and it 
will appear that the fowl received much more poison 
in proportion than the ox. Hence the cause why the 
fowl died in five minutes and the ox in five-and- 

Indeed, were it the case that the smallest particle 
of it introduced into the blood has almost instantaneous 
effects, the Indian would not find it necessary to make 
the large arrow ; that of the blowpipe is much easier 
made and requires less poison. 

And now for the antidotes, or rather the supposed 
antidotes. The Indians tell you, that if the wounded 


animal be held for a considerable time up to the month 
in water, the poison will not prove fatal; also that 
the juice of the sugar-cane poured down the throat 
will counteract the effects of it. These antidotes were 
fairly tried upon full-grown healthy fowls, but they all 
died, as though no steps had been taken to preserve 
their lives. Rum was recommended and given to 
another, but with as little success. 

It is supposed by some that wind introduced into 
the lungs by means of a small pair of bellows would 
revive the poisoned patient, provided the operation be 
continued for a sufficient length of time. It may be 
so ; but this is a difficult and a tedious mode of cure, 
and he who is wounded in the forest far away from 
his friends, or in the hut of the savages, stands but a 
poor chance of being saved by it. 

Had the Indians a sure antidote, it is likely they 
would carry it about with them, or resort to it imme- 
diately after being wounded, if at hand ; and their 
confidence in its efficacy would greatly diminish the 
hoiTor they betray when you point a poisoned arrow 
at them. 

One day, while we were eating a red monkey, erro- 
neously called the baboon of Demerara, an Arowack 
Indian told an affecting story of what happened to a 
comrade of his. He was present at his death. As it 
did not interest this Indian in any point to tell a 


f alseho )d, it is very probable that liis account was a 
true one. If so, it appears that there is no certain 
antidote, or at least an antidote that could be resorted 
to in a case of urgent need ; for the Indian gave up all 
thoughts of life as soon as he was wounded. 

The Arowack Indian said it was but four years ago 
that he and his companion were ranging in the forest 
in quest of game. His companion took a poisoned 
arrow, and sent it at a red monkey in a tree above him. 
It was nearly a perpendicular shot. The arrow missed 
the monkey, and in the descent struck him in the 
arm a little above the elbow. He was convinced it 
was all over with him. " I shall never," said he to 
his companion in a faltering voice, and looking at his 
bow as he said it, " I shall never," said he, " bend this 
bow again." And having said that he took off his 
little bamboo poison-box, which hung across his 
shoulder, and putting it, together with his bow and 
arrows, on the ground, he laid himself down close by 
them, bid his companion farewell, and never spoke 

He who is unfortunate enough to be wounded by 
a poisoned arrow from Macoushia had better not de- 
pend upon the common antidotes for a cure. Many 
who have been in Guiana will recommend immediate 
immersion in water, or to take the juice of the 
sugar-cane, or to fill the mouth full of salt ; and they 


recommend these autidotes because they have got them 
from the Indians. But were you to ask them if they 
ever saw these antidotes used with success, it is ten to 
one their answer would be in the negative. 

Wherefore let him reject these antidotes as uiiprofit- 
able, and of no avail. He has got an active and a 
deadly foe within him, which, like Shakespeare's fell 
Sergeant Death, is strict in his arrest, and will allow 
him but little time — very, very little time. In a 
few minutes he will be numbered with the dead. 
Life ought, if possible, to be preserved, be the expense 
ever so great. Should the part affected admit of it, 
let a ligature be tied tight round the wound, and have 
immediate recourse to the knife : — 

' ' Continuo, culpam ferro compesce priusquam, 
Dira per iiifaustum serpant contagia corpus." 

And now, kind reader, it is time to bid thee farewell. 
The two ends proposed have been obtained. The 
Portuguese inland frontier fort has been reached, and 
the Macoushi wourali-poison acquired. The account 
of this excursion through the interior of Guiana has 
been submitted to thy perusal, in order to induce thy 
abler genius to undertake a more extensive one. If 
any difficulties have arisen, or fevers come on, they 
have been caused by the periodical rains, which fall in 
torrents as the sun approaches the tropic of Cancer. In 
dry weather there would be no difficulties or sickness. 


Amongst the many satisfactory conclusions -wliicli 
thou wouldst be able to draw during the journey, 
there is one which, perhaps, would please thee not a 
little, and that is with regard to dogs. Many a time, 
no doubt, thou hast heard it hotly disputed that dogs 
existed in Guiana previously to the arrival of tlio 
Spaniards in those parts. Whatever the Spaniards 
introduced, and which bore no resemblance to anything 
the Indians had been accustomed to see, retains its 
Spanish name to this day. 

Thus tlie Warrow, the Arowack, the Acoway, the 
Macoushi, and Carib tribes, call a hat, " sombrero ; " a 
shirt, or any kind of cloth, " camisa ; " a shoe, " zapato ; " 
a letter, "carta;" a fowl, "gallina;" gunpowder, 
"colvora" (Spanish, "polvora") ; ammunition, "bala; " 
a cow, " vaca ; " and a dog, " perro." 

This argues strongly against the existence of dogs 
in Guiana before it was discovered by the Spaniards, 
and probably may be of use to thee in thy next cnnino 

In a political point of view this country presents a 
large field for speculation. A few years ago there was 
but little inducement for any Englishman to explore 
the interior of tliese rich and fine colonies, as tlie 
Britisli Government did not consider them worth 
holding at the peace of Amiens. Since that periorl 
their mother- country has been blotted out from tlie 


list of nations, and America has unfolded a new sheet 
of politics. Ou one side the crown of Braganza, 
attacked by an ambitious chieftain, has fled from the 
palace of its ancestors, and now seems fixed on the 
banks of the Janeiro. Cayenne has yielded to its 
arms. La Plata has raised the standard of indepen- 
dence, and thinks itself sufficiently strong to obtain a 
government of its own. On the other side, the 
Caraccas are in open revolt, and should Santa Fe join 
them in good earnest they may form a powerful 

Thus, on each side of the ci-devant Dutch Guiana, 
most unexpected and astonishing changes have taken 
place. Will they raise or lower it in the scale of 
estimation at the Court of St. James's ? Will they 
be of benefit to these grand and extensive colonies ? 
— colonies enjoying perpetual summer — colonies of the 
richest soil — colonies containing within themselves 
everything necessary for their support — colonies, in 
fine, so varied in their quality and situation, as to be 
capable of bringing to -perfection every tropical pro- 
duction ; and only want the support of goverament, 
and an enlightened governor, to render them as fine 
as the finest portions of the equatorial regions. Kind 
reader, fare thee well. 



MuT Senor, 
Como no tengo el honor, de ser conocido de VM. lo pienso 
mejor, y mas decoroso, qiiedarme aqai, hastaque huviere 
recibido su respuesta. Haviendo caminado liasta la chozo, 
adonde estoi, no quisiere volverme, antes de haver visfco la 
fortaleza de los Portugueses ; y pido licencia de VM. para que 
me adelante. Honradissimos son mis motivos, ni tengo pro- 
yecto ningimo, o de comercio, o de la soldadesca, no siendo 
yo, o comerciante, o oficial. Hidalgo catolico soy, de hacienda 
in Ynglatierra, y muchos auos de mi vida he jiasado en caminar. 
Ultimamente, de Demeraria vengo, la qual dexe el 5 dia de 
Abril, para ver este hermoso pais, y coger unas curiosidades, 
especialmente, el veneno, que se llama wourali. Las mas re- 
centes noticias que tenian en Demeraria, antes de mi salida, 
eran medias tristes, madias alegres. Tristes digo, viendo que 
Valencia ha caido en poder del enemigo comun, y el General 
Blake, y sus valientes tropas, quedan prisioneros de guerra. 
Alegres, al contrario, porque jMilord "Wellington se ha apode- 
rado de Ciudad Rodrigo. A pesar de la caida de Valencia, 
parece claro al mundo, que las cosas del enemigo estan andan- 
do de pejor a pejor cada dia. Xosotros debemos dar gracias al 
Altissimo, por haver sido servido dexarnos castigar ultima- 
mente a los robadores de sus santas Yglesias. Se vera VM. 
que yo no escribo Portugues ni aun lo hablo, pero, haviendo 
aj)rendido el Castellano, no nos faltar^ medio de communicar y 
tener conversacion. Ruego se escuse esta carta escrita sin 
tinta, porque un Indio dexo caer mi tintero y quebrose. Dios 
le de a VM. muchos anos de salud. Entretanto, tengo el 
honor de ser 

Su mas obedeciente servidor, 

Carlos Waterton. 



" Incerttis, quo fata ferant, ubi sistere detnr." 

Kind and gentle reader, if tlie journey in qnest of the 
wonrali-poison has engaged thy attention, probably 
thou mayst recollect that the traveller took leave of 
thee at Fort St. Joachim, on the Rio Braneo. Shonldst 
thon wish to know what befell him afterwards, excuse 
the following uninteresting narrative. 

Having had a return of fever, and aware that the 
farther he advanced into these wild and lonely regions 
the less wonld be the chance of regaining his health, 
he gave up all idea of proceeding onwards, and went 
slowly back towards the Demerara nearly by the same 
route he had come. 

On descending the falls in the Essequibo, wliich 
form an oblique line quite across the river, it was re- 
solved to push through them, tlie downward stream 
being in the canoe's favour. At a little distance from 
the place a large tree had fallen into the river, and in 
the meantime the canoe was lashed to one of its 

The roaring of the water was dreadful ; it foamed 
and dashed over the rocks with a tremendous spray. 


like breakers on a lee-shore, threatening destruction 
to whatever approached it. You would have thought, 
hj the confusion it caused in the river, and the whirl- 
pools it made, that ScjUa and Charjbdis, and their 
whole progeny, had left the Mediterranean, and come 
and settled here. The channel was barely twelve feet 
wide, and the torrent in rushing down formed.transverse 
furrows, which showed how near the rocks were to the 

Nothing could surpass the skill of the Indian who 
steered the canoe. He looked steadfastly at it, then 
at the rocks, then cast an eye on the channel, and 
then looked at the canoe again. It was in vain to speak. 
The sound was lost in the roar of waters ; but his eye 
showed that he had already passed it in imagination. 
He held up his paddle in a position, as much as to say, 
that he would keep exactly amid channel; and then 
made a sign to cut the bush rope that held the canoe 
to the fallen tree. The canoe drove down the torrent 
with inconceivable rapidity. It did not touch the 
rocks once all the way. The Indian proved to a nicety 
*• medio tutissimus ibis." 

Shortly after this it rained almost day and night, 
the lightning flashing incessantly, and the roar of 
thunder awful beyond expression. 

The fever returned, and pressed so heavy on him, 
that to all appearance his last day's march was over, 


Ho'weTer, it abated ; his spirits rallied, and he marched 
again ; and after delays and inconveniences he reached 
the house of his worthy friend Mr, Edmonstone, in 
Mibiri Creek, which falls into the Demerara. No 
words of his can do justice to the hospitality of that 
gentleman, whose repeated encounters with the hostile 
negroes in the forest have been publicly rewarded, 
and will be remembered in the colony for years to 

Here he learned that an eruption had taken place 
in St. Yincent's ; and thus the noise heard in the 
night of the first of May, which had caused such terror 
amongst the Indians, and made the gaiTison at Fort 
St. Joachim remain under arms the rest of the night, 
is accounted for. 

After experiencing every kindness and attention 
from Mr. Edmonstone, he sailed for Granada, and 
from thence to St. Thomas's, a few days before poor 
Captain Peake lost his life on his own quarter-deck, 
bravely fighting for his country on the coast of 

At St. Thomas's they show you a tower, a little 
distance from the town, which, they say, formerly be- 
longed to a buccaneer chieftain. Probably the fury of 
besiegers has reduced it to its present dismantled 
state. What still remains of it bears testimony of its 
former strength, and may brave the attack of time for 


centuries. Ton cannot view its ruins witliout calling' 
to mind the exploits of those fierce and liardy hunters, 
long the terror of tlie western world. "While you ad- 
mire their undaunted courage, you lament that it was 
often stained with cruelty ; while you extol their 
scrupulous justice to each other, you will find a want 
of it towards the rest of mankind. Often possessed 
of enormous wealth, often in extreme poverty, often 
triumphant on the ocean, and often forced to fly to the 
forests, their life was an ever- changing scene of 
advance and retreat, of glory and disorder, of luxury 
and famine. Spain treated them as outlaws and pirates, 
while other European Powers publicly disowned them. 
They, on the other hand, maintained that injustice on 
the part of Spain first forced them to take up arms in 
self-defence ; and that, whilst they kept inviolable the 
laws which they had framed for their own common 
benefit and protection, they had a right to consider as 
foes those who treated them as outlaws. Under this 
impression they drew the sword, and rushed on as 
though in lawful war, and divided the spoils of victory 
in the scale of justice. 

After leaving St. Thomas's a severe tertian ague 
every now and then kept putting the traveller in 
mind that his shattered frame, " starting and shivering 
in the inconstant blast, meagre and pale — the ghost 
of what it was " — wanted repairs. Three years elapsed 


after arriving in England before the ague took its 
final leave of liim. 

During that time several experiments were made 
with the wourali-poison. In Loudon an ass was in- 
03ulated with it, and died in twelve minutes. The 
poison was inserted into the leg of another, round 
which a bandage had been previously tied a little 
above the place where the wourali was introduced. 
He walked about as usual, and ate his food as though 
all were right. After an hour had elapsed the bandage 
was untied, and ten minutes after death overtook him. 

A she-ass received the wourali-poison in the shoulder, 
and died apparently in ten minutes. An incision was 
then made in its windpipe, and through it the lungs 
were regularly inflated for two hours with a j)air of 
bellows. Suspended animation returned. The ass 
held up her head, and looked around ; but the inflating 
being discontinued, she sank once more in apparent 
death. The artificial breathing was immediately re- 
commenced, and continued without intermission for 
two hours ; this saved the ass from final dissolution. 
She rose up, and walked about ; she seemed neither 
in agitation nor in pain. The wound, through whicli 
the poison entered, was healed without difficulty. 
Her constitution, however, was so severely affected 
that it was long a doubt if ever she would be well 
again. She looked lean and sickly for above a year, 


but began to mend the spring after, and by Midsummer 
became fat and frislcy. 

The kind-hearted reader will rejoice on learning 
that Earl Percy, pitying her misfortunes, sent her 
down from London to Walton Hall, near Wakefield. 
There she goes by the name of Wouralia. Wouralia 
shall be sheltered from the wintry storm ; and when 
summer comes she shall feed in the finest pasture. 
No burden shall be placed upon her, and she shall end 
her days in peace. 

For three revolving autumns the ague-beaten wan- 
derer never saw, without a sigh, the swallow bend her 
flight towards warmer regions. He wished to go too, 
])ut could not ; for sickness had enfeebled him, and 
i^rudence pointed out the folly of roving again too 
soon across" the northern tropic. To be sure, the 
Continent was now open, and change of air might 
prove beneficial ; but there was nothing very tempting 
in a trip across the Channel, and as for a tour through 
England — England has long ceased to be the land 
for adventures. Indeed, when good King Arthur re- 
appears to claim his crown he will find things strangely 
altered here ; and may we not look for his coming ? 
for there is written upon his gravestone : — 

" Hie jacet Arturus, Eex quondam Rexque futurus," 
"Here Arthur lies, who formerly 
Was king — and king again to be." 


Don Quixote was always of opinion that this famous 
king did not die, but that he was changed into a raven 
by enchantment, and that the English are momentarily 
expecting his return. Be this as it may, it is certain 
that when he reigned here all was harmony and joy. 
The browsing herds passed from vale to vale, the 
swains sang from the bluebell-teeming groves, and 
nymphs, with eglantine and roses in their neatly - 
braided hair, went hand in hand to the flowery mead 
to weave garlands for their lambkins. If by chance 
some rude uncivil fellow dared to molest them, or at- 
tempted to throw thorns in their path, there was sure 
to be a knight-errant not far off ready to rush forward 
in their defence. But alas ! in these degenerate days 
it is not so. Should a harmless cottage-maid wander 
out of the highway to pluck a primrose or two in the 
neighbouring field the haughty owner sternly bids her 
retire ; and if a pitying swain hasten to escort her 
back, he is perhaps seized by the gaunt house-dog ere 
he reach her. 

^neas's route on the other side of Styx could not 
have been much worse than this, though by his ac- 
count, when he got back to earth, it apjDears that he 
had fallen in with "Bellua Lemae, horrendum stridens, 
flammisc|ue, armata Chimsera." 

Moreover, he had a sibyl to guide his steps ; and 
as such a conductress nowadays could not be got for 


love nor money, it was judged most prudent to refrain 
from sauntering through this laud of freedom, and 
wait with patience the return of health. At last this 
long-looked-for, ever- welcome stranger came. 


^eroni Slournep* 

In the year 1816, two days before the vernal equi- 
nox, I sailed from Liverpool for Peruambuco, in the 
southern hemisphere, on the coast of Brazil. There 
is little at this time of the year in the European 
part of the Atlantic to engage the attention of the 
naturalist. As yoii go down the Channel you see 
a few divers and gannets. Tlie middle-sized gulls, 
with a black spot at the end of the wings, attend you a 
little way into the Bay of Biscay. "When it blows a 
hard gale of wind the stormy petrel makes its appear- 
ance. "While the sea runs mountains high, and every 
wave threatens destruction to the labouring vessel, 
this little harbinger of storms is seen enjoying itself, 
on rapid pinion, up and down the roaring billows. 
When the storm is over it appears no more. It is 
known to every English sailor by the name of Mother 
Carey's chicken. It must have been hatched in 
bolus's cave, amongst a clutch of squalls and tem- 
j)ests ; for whenever they get out upon the ocean it 
always contrives to be of the party. 

Though the calms and storms and adverse winds 


in these latitudes are vexatious, still, when you reach 
the trade winds, you are amply repaid for all disap- 
pointments and inconveniences. The trade winds 
prevail about thirty degrees on each side of the 
equator. This part of the ocean may be called the 
Elysian Fields of Neptune's empire; and the torrid 
zone, notwithstanding Ovid's remark, " non est habita- 
bilis sestu," is rendered healthy and pleasant by these 
gently-blowing breezes. The ship glides smoothly 
on, and you soon find yourself within the northern 
tropic- When you are on it, Cancer is just over 
your head, and betwixt him and Capricorn is the 
high road of the Zodiac, forty-seven degrees wide, 
famous for Phaeton's misadventure. His father 
begged and entreated him not to take it into his head 
to drive parallel to the five zones, but to mind and 
keep on the turnpike whicli runs obliquely across 
the equator. "There you v ill distinctly see," said 
he, " the ruts of my chariot wheels, ' manifesta rotse 
vestigia cemes.' But," added he, " even suppose 
you keep on it, and avoid the byroads, nevertheless, 
my dear boy, believe me, you will be most sadly put 
to your shifts ; ' ardua prima via est,' the first part of 
the road is confoundedly steej) ! ' ultima via prona 
est,' and after that it is all down hill. Moreover, 
' per insidias iter est, forma sque ferarum,' the road 
is full of nooses and bull -dogs, ' Hsemoniosque areus,' 


and spring guns, ' ssevaque circuitu, curvantem brachia 
longo, Scorpio,' and steel traps of uncommon size 
and shape." These were nothing in the eyes of Phaeton ; 
go he would, so off he set, full speed, four-in-hand. 
He had a tough drive of it ; and after doing a pro- 
digious deal of mischief, very luckily for the world, 
he got thrown out of the box, and tumbled into the 
river Po. 

Some of our modem bloods have been shallow 
enough to try to ape this poor empty-headed coach, 
man, on a little scale, making London their Zodiac. 
Well for them if tradesmen's bills, and other tri\'ial 
perplexities, have not caused them to be thrown into 
the King's Bench. 

The productions of the torrid zone are uncommonly 
grand. Its plains, its swamps, its savannas, and 
forests abound with the largest serpents and wild 
beasts ; and its trees are the habitation of the most 
beautiful of the feathered race. While the traveller 
in the Old World is astonished at the elephant, the 
tiger, the lion, and the rhinoceros, he who wanders 
through the torrid regions of the New is lost in 
admiration at the cotingas, the toucans, the humming- 
birds, and aras. 

The ocean, likewise, swarms with curiosities. Pro- 
bably the flying-fish may be considered as one of the 
most singular. This little scaled inhabitant of water 


and air seems to have been more favoured than the 
rest of its finny brethren. It can rise out of the 
waves, and on wing visit the domain of the birds. 

After flying two or three hundred yards, the 
intense heat of the sun has dried its pellucid wings, 
and it is obliged to wet them in order to continue its 
flight. It just drops into the ocean for a moment, 
and then rises again and flies on ; and then descends 
to remoisten them, and then up again into the air; 
thus passing its life, sometimes wet, sometimes dry, 
sometimes in sunshine, and sometimes in the pale 
moon's nightly beam, as pleasure dictates, or as need 
requires. The additional assistance of wings is not 
thrown away upon it. It has full occupation both 
for fins and wings, as its life is in perpetual danger. 

The bonito and albicore chase it day and night; 
but the dolphin is its worst and swiftest foe. If it 
escape into the air, the dolphin pushes on with pro- 
portional velocity beneath, and is ready to snap it up 
the moment it descends to wet its wings. 

You will often see above one hundred of these little 
marine aerial fugitives on the wing at once. They 
appear to use every exertion to prolong their flight, 
but vain are all their efforts ; for when the last drop 
of water on their wings is dried up, their flight is at 
an end, and they must drop into the ocean. Some 
are instantly devoured by their merciless pursuer, 


part escape by swimming, and others get out again 
as quick as possible, and trust once more to their 

It often happens that this unfortunate little creature, 
after alternate dips and flights, finding all its exertions 
of no avail, at last drops on board the vessel, verifying 
the old remark — 

"Incidit in Scyllam, cupiens vitare Charybdim." 

There, stunned by the fall, it beats the deck with 
its tail, and dies. When eating it, you would take it 
for a fresh herring. The largest measure from four- 
teen to fifteen inches in length. The dolphin, after 
pursuing it to the ship, sometimes forfeits his own 

In days of yore, the musician used to play in 
softest, sweetest strain, and then take an airing 
amongst the dolphins ; " inter delphinas Arion." But 
nowadays, our tars have quite capsized the custom; 
and instead of riding ashore on the dolphin, they in- 
vited the dolphin aboard. Wliile he is darting and 
playing around the vessel, a sailor goes out to the 
sprit sailyard-arm, and with a long staff, leaded at one 
end. and armed at the other with five barbed spikes, he 
heaves it at him. If successful in his aim, there is a 
fresh mess for all hands. The dying dolphin affords a 
superb and brilliant sight : 

" Mille trahit moriens, adverse sole colores," 


All the colours of tlie raiubow pass and repass in 
rapid succession over liis bodj, till the dark hand of 
death closes the scene. 

From the Cape de Yerd Islands to the coast of 
Brazil you see several diiferent kinds of gulls, which 
probably are bred in the island of St. Paul. Some- 
times the large bird called the frigate pelican soars 
majestically over the vessel, and the tropic-bird comes 
near enough to let you have a fair view of the long 
feathers in his tail. On the line when it is calm 
sharks of a tremendous size make tiieir appearance. 
They are descried from the ship by means of the 
do: sal fin, which is above the water. 

On entering the Bay of Pemambuco, the frigate 
pelican is seen watching the shoals of fish from a pro- 
digious height. It seldom descends without a suc- 
cessful attack on its numerous prey below. 

As you approach the shore the view is charming. 
The hills are clothed with wood, gradually rising 
towards the interior, none of them of any considerable 
lieight. A singular reef of rocks runs parallel to the 
coast, and forms the harbour of Pemambuco. The 
vessels are moored betwixt it and the town, safe from 
every storm. You enter the harbour through a very 
narrow passage, close by a fort built on the reef. The 
hill of Olinda, studded with houses and convents, 
is on your right hand, and an island, thickly planted 


with cocoa-nut trees, adds considerably to the scene on 
your left. There are two strong forts on the isthmus, 
betwixt Olinda and Pernambuco, and a pillar midway 
to aid the pilot. 

Pernambuco probably contains upwards of fifty 
thousand souls. It stands on a flat, and is divided 
into three parts — a peninsula, an island, and the 
continent. Though within a few degrees of the line, 
its climate is remarkably salubrious, and rendered 
almost temperate by the refreshing sea-breeze. Had 
art and judgment contributed their portion to its 
natural advantages, Pernambuco at this day would 
have been a stately ornament to the coast of Brazil. 
On viewing it, it will strike you that every one has 
built his house entirely for himself, and deprived 
public convenience of the little claim she had a right 
to put in. You would wish that this city, so famous 
for its harbour, so happy in its climate, and so well 
situated for commerce, could have risen under the 
flag of Dido, in lieu of that of Braganza. 

As you walk down the streets, the appearance of 
the houses is not much in their favour. Some of them 
are very high, and some very low ; some newly white- 
washed, and others stained and mouldy and neglected, 
as though they had no owner. 

The balconies, too, are of a dark and gloomy 
appearance. They are not, in general, open, as in 


most tropical cities, but grated like a farmer's dairy 
window, though somewhat closer. 

There is a lamentable want of cleanliness in the 
streets. The impurities from the houses, and the 
accumulation of litter from the beasts of burden, are 
unpleasant sights to the passing stranger. He laments 
the want of a police as he goes along ; and when the 
wind begins to blow, his nose and eyes are too often 
exposed to a cloud of very unsavoury dust. 

When you view the port of Pernambuco, full of 
ships of all nations ; when you know that the richest 
commodities of Europe, Africa, and Asia are brought 
to it ; when you see immense quantities of cotton, 
dye-wood, and the choicest fruits pouring into the 
town, you are apt to wonder at the little attention 
these people pay to the common comforts which one 
always expects to find in a large and opulent city. 
However, if the inhabitants are satisfied, there is 
nothing more to be said. Should they ever be con- 
vinced that inconveniences exist, and that nuisances 
are too frequent, the remedy is in their own hands. 
At present, certainly, they seem perfectly regardless 
of them ; and the Captain-General of Pernambuco 
walks through the streets with as apparent content 
and composure as an English statesman would pro- 
ceed down Charing Cross. Custom reconciles every- 
thing. In a week or two tlie stranger himself begins 
E— 54 


to feel less tiie tilings which annoyed him so much 
upon his first arrival, and after a few months' resi- 
dence he thinks no more about them, while he is 
partaking of the hospitality and enjoying the ele- 
gance and splendour within doors in this great 

Close by the riverside stands what is called the 
Palace of the Captain- General of Pernambuco. Its 
form and appearance altogether strike the traveller 
that it was never intended for the use it is at present 
put to. 

Reader, throw a veil over thy recollection for a 
little while, and forget the cruel, unjust, and un- 
merited censures thou hast heard against an un- 
offending order. This palace was once the Jesuits' 
college, and originally built by those charitable 
fathers. Ask the aged and respectable inhabitants 
of Pernambuco, and they will tell thee that the de- 
struction of the Society of Jesus was a terrible disaster 
to the public, and its consequences severely felt to 
the present day. 

"When Pombal took the reins of power into his 
own hands, virtue and learning beamed bright within 
the college walls. Public catechism to the children, 
and religious instruction to all, flowed daily from the 
mouths of its venerable priests. 

They were loved, revered, and respected throughout 


the whole town. The illuminating philosophers of 
the day had sworn to exterminate Christian know- 
ledge, and the college of Pernambuco was doomed to 
founder in the general storm. To the long-lasting 
sorrow and disgrace of Portugal, the philosophers 
blinded her king and flattered her Prime Minister. 
Pombal was exactly the tool these sappers of every 
public and private virtue wanted. He had the naked 
sword of power in his own hand, and his heart was as 
hard as flint. He struck a mortal blow, and the 
Society of Jesus throughout the Portuguese dominions, 
was no more. 

One morning all the fathers of the college in Per- 
nambuco, some of them very old and feeble, were 
suddenly ordered into the refectory. They had 
notice beforehand of the fatal storm, in pity from 
the governor, but noc one of them abandoned his 
charge. They had done their duty, and had nothing 
to fear. They bowed with resignation to the will of 
Heaven. As soon as they had all reached the refec- 
tory, they were there locked up, and never more did 
they see their rooms, their friends, their scholars, or 
acquaintance. In the dead of the following night, 
a strong guard of soldiers literally drove them 
through the streets to the water's edge. They were 
then conveyed in boats aboard a ship, and steered for 
Bahia. Those who survived the barbarous treatment 


they experienced from Pombal's creatures were at last 
ordered to Lisbon. The college of Pemambuco -was 
plundered, and some time after an elephant was kept 

Thus the arbitrary hand of power, in one night, 
smote and swept away the sciences; to which suc- 
ceeded the low vulgar buffoonery of a showman. 
Yirgil and Cicero made way for a wild beast from 
Angola ! and now a guard is on duty at tlie very 
gate where, in times long x^'^vst, the poor were daily 

Trust not, kind reader, to the envious remarks which 
their enemies have scattered far and near ; believe not 
the stories of those who have had a hand in the sad 
tragedy. Go to Brazil, and see with thine own eyes 
the effect of Pombal's short-sighted policy. There vice 
reigns triumphant, and learning is at its lowest ebb. 
Neither is this to be wondered at. Destroy the 
compass, and will the vessel find her far-distant j)ort ? 
Will the flock keep together, and escape the wolves, 
after the shepherds are all slain ? The Brazilians were 
told that public education would go on just as usual. 
They might have asked Government, who so able 
to instruct our youth as those whose knowledge is 
proverbial ? who so fit as those who enjoy our entire 
confidence ? who so worthy, as those whose lives are 
irreproachable ? 


They soon found that those who succeeded the 
fathers of the Society of Jesus had neither their 
manner nor their abilities. They had not made the 
instruction of youth their particular study. More- 
over, they entered on the field after a defeat, where 
the officers had all been slain ; where the plan of the 
campaign was lost ; where all was in sorrow and 
dismay. No exertions of theirs could rally the dis- 
persed, or skill prevent the fatal consequences. At 
the present day the seminary of Olinda, in com- 
parison with the former Jesuits' college, is only as 
the waning moon's beam to the sun's meridian splen- 

When you visit the places where those learned 
fathers once flourished, and see with your own eyes 
the evils their dissolution has caused ; when you hear 
the inhabitants telling you how good, how clever, how 
charitable they were — ^what will you think of our poet 
laureate for calling them, in his " History of Brazil," 
"Missioners, whose zeal the most fanatical was directed 
by the coolest policy " ? 

Was it fanatical to renounce the honours and com- 
forts of this transitory life, in order to gain eternal 
glory in the next, by denying themselves, and taking 
up the cross ? Was it fanatical to preach salvation 
to innumerable wild hordes of Americans, to clothe 
the naked, to encourage the repenting sinner, to 


aid the dying Cliristian ? The fathers of the Society 
of Jesus did all this. And for this their zeal is pro- 
nounced to be the most fanatical, directed by the 
coolest policy. It will puzzle many a clear brain to 
comprehend how it is possible, in the natm-e of things, 
that zeal the jnost fanatical should be directed by the 
coolest policy. Ah, Mr. Laureate, Mr. Laureate, that 
" quidlibet audendi " of yours may now and then gild 
the poet, at the same time that it makes the historian 
cut a sorry figure ! 

Could Father Xobrega rise from the toml), he would 
thus address you : — " Ungrateful Englishman, you 
have drawn a great part of your information from the 
writings of the Society of Jesus, and in return you 
attempt to stain its character by telling your country- 
men that ' we taught the idolatry we believed ! ' In 
speaking of me, you say, it was my happy fortune to 
be stationed in a country where none but the good 
principles of my order were called into action. Un- 
generous laureate, the narrow policy of the times has 
kept your countrymen in the dark with regard to the 
true character of the Society of Jesus ; and you di-aw 
the bandage still tighter over their eyes by a malicious 
insinuation. I lived, and taught, and died in Brazil, 
where you state that no7ie but the good principles of 
my order were called into action, and still, in most 
absolute contradiction to this, you remark we believed 


the idolatry we tanglit in Brazil. Tims we broiiglit 
none but good principles into action, and still tanght 
idolatry ! 

" Again, you state tliere is no individual to whose 
talents Brazil is so greatly and permanently indebted 
as mine, and that I must be regarded as the founder 
of that system so successfully pursued by the Jesuits 
in Paraguay; a system productive of as much good 
as is compatible with pious fraud. Thus you make 
rae, at one and the same time, a teaclier of none but 
good principles, and a teacher of idolatry, and a 
believer in idolatry, and still the founder of a system 
for which Brazil is greatly and permanently indebted 
to me, though, by-the-bye, the system was only pro- 
ductive of as much good as is compatible with i3ious 
fraud ! 

" What means all this ? After reading such incom- 
parable nonsense, should your countrymen wish to be 
properly informed concerning the Society of Jesus, 
there are in England documents enough to show that 
the system of the Jesuits was a system of Christian 
charity towards their fellow-creatures, administered 
in a manner which human prudence judged best 
calculated to ensure success; and that the idolatry 
which you uncharitably afSrm they taught was really 
and truly the very same faith which the Catholic 
Church taught for centuries in England, which she 


still tcaclies to those who wish to hear her, and which 
she will continue to teach pure and unspotted, till 
time shall be no more." 

The environs of Pernambuco are very pretty. You 
see country houses in all directions, and the appear- 
ance of here and there a sugar plantation enriches 
the scenery. Palm-trees, cocoa-nut trees, orange 
and lemon groves, and all the different fruits peculiar 
to Brazil, are here in the greatest abundance. 

At Olinda there is a national botanical garden ; it 
wants space, produce, and improvement. The forests 
wliich are several leagues off, abound with birds, 
beasts, insects, and serpents. Besides a brilliant 
plumage, many of the birds have a very fine song. 
The trouj)iale, noted for its rich colours, sings de- 
lightfully in the environs of Pernambuco. The 
red-headed finch, larger than the European sparrow, 
pours forth a sweet and varied strain, in company with 
two species of wrens, a little before daylight. There 
are also several species of the thrush, which have a 
song somewhat different from that of the European 
thrush ; and two species of the linnet, whose strain 
is so soft and sweet that it dooms them to captivity 
in the houses. A bird, called here sangre do buey 
(blood of the ox), cannot fail to engage your attention : 
he is of the passerine tribe, and very common about 
the houses; the wings and tail are black, and every 


other part of tlie body a flaming red. In Gniaiia 
there is a species exactly the same as this in shape, 
note, and economy, but differing in colour, its whole 
body being like black velvet ; on its breast a tinge of 
red appears through the black. Thus nature has 
ordered this little tangara to j)^it on mourning to the 
north of the line, and wears scarlet to the south of it. 

For three months in the year the environs of Per- 
nambuco are animated beyond description. From 
November to March the weather is particularly fine ; 
then it is that rich and poor, young and old, foreigners 
and natives, all issue from the city to enjoy the country, 
till Lent approaches, when back they hie them. Til- 
lages and hamlets, where nothing before but rags were 
seen, now shine in all the elegance of dress; every 
house, every room, every shed become eligible places 
for those whom nothing but extreme necessity could 
have forced to live there a few weeks ago : some join 
in the merry dance, others saunter up and down the 
orange groves ; and towards evening the roads become 
a moving scene of silk and jewels. The gaming-tables 
have constant visitors ; there, thousands are daily and 
nightly lost and won; parties even sit down to try 
their luck round the outside of the door as well as in 
the room : — 

" V estibiikim ante ipsum primisque in faucibus aulae 
Lucius et ul trices, posuere sediha curas." 


About six or seven miles from Pernambuco stands a 
pretty little village called Monteiro; the river runs 
close by it, and its rural beauties seem to surpass all 
others in the neighbourhood ; there the Captain-G-eneral 
of Pernambuco resides dui-ing this time of merriment 
and joy. 

The traveller who allots a portion of his time to peep 
at his fellow-creatures in their relaxations, and accus- 
toms himself to read their several little histories in 
their looks and gestures as he goes musing on, may 
have full occupation for an hour or two every day 
at this season amid the variegated scenes around the 
pretty village of Monteiro. In the evening groups 
sitting at the door, he may sometimes see with a sigh 
how wealth and the prince's favour cause a booby to 
pass for a Solon, and be reverenced as such, while 
perhaps a poor neglected Camoens stands silent at a 
distance, awed by the dazzling glare of wealth and 
power. Retired from the public road he may see poor 
Maria sitting under a palm-tree, with her elbow in her 
laj) and her head leaning on one side within her hand, 
weeping over her forbidden banns. And as he moves 
on, " with wandering step and slow," he may hear a 
broken-hearted nymph ask her faithless swain, 

" Hovjf could you say my face was fair. 
And yet that face forsake ? 


How could you win my virgin heart, 
Yet leave that heart to break ? " 

One afternoon, in an unfrequented part not far from 
Monteiro, tliese adventures were near being brought to 
a speedy and a final close : six or seven blackbirds, witli 
a white spot betwixt the shoulders, were making a 
noise, and passing to and fro on the lower branches of 
a tree in an abandoned, weed- grown, orange orchard. 
In the long grass underneath the tree, apparently a 
pale green grasshopper was fluttering, as though it had 
got entangled in it. When you once fancy that the 
thing you are looking at is really what you take it for, 
the more ypu look at it the more you are convinced it 
is so. In the present case, this was a grasshopper 
beyond all doubt, and nothing more remained to be 
done but to wait in patience till it had settled, in order 
that you might run no risk of breaking its legs in 
attempting to lay hold of it while it was fluttering — it 
still kept fluttering ; and having quietly approached 
it, intended to make sure of it — behold, the head of a 
large rattlesnake appeared in the grass close by: an 
instantaneous spring backwards prevented fatal conse- 
quences. What had been taken for a grasshopper was, 
in fact, the elevated rattle of the snake in the act of 
announcing that he was quite prepared, though unwill- 
ing, to make a sure and deadly spring. He shortly 
after passed slowly from under the orange-tree to the 


neighbouring wood on the side of a hill : as he moved 
over a place bare of grass and weeds, he appeared to 
be about eight feet long ; it was he who had engaged 
the attention of the birds, and made them heedless 
of danger from another quarter: they flew away 
on his retiring ; one alone left his little life in the air, 
destined to become a specimen, mute and motionless, 
for the inspection of the curious in a far distant 

It was now the rainy season, the birds were moult- 
ing ; fifty-eight specimens of the handsomest of them 
in the neighbourhood of Pemambuco had been collected, 
and it was time to proceed elsewhere. The conveyance 
to the interior was by horses ; and this mode, together 
with the heavy rains, would expose preserved specimens 
to almost certain damage. The journey to Maranham 
by land would take at least forty days. The route was 
not wild enough to engage the attention of an explorer, 
or civilised enough to afford common comforts to a 
traveller. By sea there were no opportunities, ex- 
cept slave ships. As the transporting poor negroes 
from ]3ort to port for sale pays well in Brazil, the 
ships' decks are crowded with them. This would 
not do. 

Excuse here, benevolent reader, a small tribute of 
gratitude to an Irish family, whose urbanity and good- 
ness have long gained it the esteem and respect of all 


rauks in Pemambuco. The kiudness and attention I 
received from Dennis Kearney, Esq., and his amiable 
lady, will be remembered with gratitude to my dying 

After wishing farewell to this hospitable family, 
I embarked on board a Portuguese brig, with poor 
accommodation, for Cayenne in Guiana, The most 
eligible bedroom was the top of a hen-coop on deck. 
Even here, an unsavoury little beast, called bug, was 
neither shy nor deficient in appetite. 

The Portuguese seamen are famed for catching fish. 
One evening, under the line, four sharks made their 
appearance in the wake of the vessel. The sailors 
caught them all. 

On the fourteenth day after leaving Pernambuco, 
the brig cast anchor off the island of Cayenne. The 
entrance is beautiful. To windward, not far off, there 
are two bold wooded islands, called the Father and 
Mother ; and near them are others, their children, 
smaller, though as beautiful as their parents. Another 
is seen a long way to leeward of the family, and seems 
as if it had strayed from home, and cannot find its way 
back. The French call it " I'enfant perdu." As you 
pass the islands, the stately hills on the main, orna- 
mented with ever- verdant foliage, show you that this 
is by far the sublimest scenery on tlie sea-coast, from 
the Amazons to the Oroonoque. On casting your eye 


towards Dutcli Guiana, yon will see that the mountains 
become unconnected, and few in number, and long 
before you reach Surinam the Atlantic wave washes a 
flat and muddy shore. 

Considerably to windward of Cayenne, and about 
twelve leagues from land, stands a stately and tower- 
ing rock, called the Constable. As nothing grows on 
it to tempt greedy and aspiring man to claim it as his 
own, the sea -fowl rest and raise their offspring there. 
The bird called the frigate is ever soaring round its 
rugged summit. Hither the phaeton bends his rapid 
flight, and flocks of rosy flamingos here defy the 
fowler's cunning. All along the coast, opposite the 
Constable, and indeed on every uncultivated part of it 
to windward and leeward, are seen innumerable quanti- 
ties of snow-white egrets, scarlet curlews, spoonbills, 
and flamingos. 

Cayenne is capable of being a noble and productive 
colony. At present it is thought to be the poorest on 
the coast of Guiana. Its estates are too much separated 
one from the other by immense tracts of forest ; and 
the revolutionary war, like a cold eastern wind, has 
chilled their zeal and blasted their best expecta- 

The clove-tree, the cinnamon, pepper, and nutmeg, 
and many other choice spices and fruits of the eastern 
and Asiatic regions, produce abundantly in Cayenne. 


The town itself is prettily laid out, and was once 
well fortified. They tell you it might easily have beea 
defended against the invading force of the two united 
nations ; but Yictor Hugues, its governor, ordered the 
tri-coloured flag to be struck ; and ever since that day 
the standard of Braganza has waved on the ramparts 
of Cayenne. 

He who has received humiliations from the hand of 
this haughty, iron-hearted governor, may see him now 
in Cayenne, stripj)ed of all his revolutionary lionours, 
broken down and ruined, and under arrest in his own 
house. He has four accomplished daughters, respected 
by the whole town. Towards the close of day, 
when the sun's rays are no longer oppressive, these 
much-pitied ladies are seen walking up and down the 
balcony with their aged parent, trying, by their kind 
and filial attention, to remove the settled gloom from 
his too guilty brow. 

This was not the time for a traveller to enjoy 
Cayenne. The hospitality of the inhabitants was the 
same as ever, but they had lost their wonted gaiety in 
public, and the stranger might read in tlieir counte- 
nances, as the recollection of recent humiliations and 
misfortunes every now and then kept breaking in upon 
them, that they were still in sorrow for their fallen 
country : the victorious hostile cannon of Waterloo still 
sounded in their ears : their Emperor was a prisoner 


amongst the hideous rocks of St. Helena ; and many a 
Frenchman who had fought and bled for France was 
now amongst them begging for a little support to pro- 
long a life which would be forfeited on the parent soil. 
To add another handful to the cypress and wormwood 
already scattered amongst these polite colonists, they 
had just received orders from the court of Janeiro to 
put on deep mourning for six mouths, and half -mourn- 
ing for as many more, on account of the death of the 
Queen of Portugal. 

After a day's journey in the interior is the celebrated 
national plantation. This spot was judiciously chosen, 
for it is out of the reach of enemies' cruisers. It is 
called La Gabrielle. Xo plantation in the western 
world can rie with La Gabrielle. Its spices are of the 
choicest kind ; its soil particularly favourable to them ; 
its arrangements beautiful ; and its directeur, Monsieur 
Martin, a botanist of first-rate abilities. This inde- 
fatigable naturalist ranged through the East, under a 
royal commission, in quest of botanical knowledge ; 
and during his stay in the western regions has sent 
over to Europe from twenty to twenty-five thousand 
specimens in botany and zoology. La Gabrielle is on 
a far-extending range of woody hills. Figure to your- 
self a hill in the shape of a bowl reversed, with the 
buildings on the top of it, and you will have an idea of 
the appearance of La Gabrielle. You approach the 


lioiise through a noble avenue, five hundred toises long, 
of the choicest tropical fruit-trees, planted with the 
greatest care and judgment ; and should you chance 
to stray through it after sunset, when the clove-trees 
are in blossom, you would fancy yourself in the Idalian 
groves, or near the banks of the Nile, where they were 
burning the finest incense as the Queen of Egypt 

On La Gabrielle there are twenty-two thousand 
clove-trees in full bearing. They are planted thirty 
feet asunder. Their lower branches touch the ground 
In general the trees are topped at five-and-twenty feet 
high ; though you will see some here towering up above 
sixty. The black pepper, the cinnamon, and nutmeg 
are also in great abundance here, and very productive. 

While the stranger views the spicy groves of La 
Gabrielle, and tastes the most delicious fruits which 
have originally been imported hither from all parts of 
the tropical world, he will thank the Government which 
has supported, and admire the talents of the gentleman 
who has raised to its present grandeur, this noble collec- 
tion of useful fruits. There is a large nursery attached 
to La Gabrielle, where plants of all the different 
species are raised and distributed gratis to those 
colonists who wish to cultivate them. 

Not far from the banks of the river Oyapoc, to 
windward of Cayenne, is a mountain which contains an 


immense caveru. Here the eoek-of-tlie-rock is plenti- 
ful. He is about the size of a fantail-pigeon, his colour 
a bright orange, and his wings and tail appear as 
though fringed ; his head is ornamented with a superb 
double -feathery crest, edged with purple. He passes 
the day amid gloomy damps and silence, and only 
issues out for food a short time at sunrise and sunset. 
He is of tlie gallinaceous tribe. The South- American 
Spaniards call him "gallo del Rio Negro" (cock of 
the Black River), and suppose that he is only to be met 
with in the vicinity of that far-inland stream ; but he 
is common in the interior of Demerara, amongst the 
huge rocks in tlie forests of Macoushia ; and he has 
been shot soutli of the line, in the captainship of 

The bird called by Buifon grand gobemouche has 
never been found in Demerara, although very common 
in Cayenne. He is not quite so large as the jackdaw, 
and is entirely black, except a large spot under the 
throat, which is a glossy purple. 

You may easily sail from Cayenne to the river 
Surinam in two days. Its capital, Paramaribo, is 
handsome, rich, and populous : hitherto it has been 
considered by far the finest town in Guiana ; but 
probably the time is not far off when the capital of 
Demerara may claim the prize of superiority. You 
may enter a creek above Paramaribo, and travel 


through the interior of Surinam, till yon come to the 
Nacari, which is close to the large river Coryntin. 
When yon have passed this river, there is a good pub- 
lic road to New Amsterdam, the capital of Berbice. 

On viewing New Amsterdam, it will immediately 
strike you that something or other has intervened to 
prevent its arriving at that state of wealth and conse- 
quence for which its original plan shows it was once 
intended. What has caused this stop in its progress 
to the rank of a fine and poj)ulous city remains for 
those to find out who are interested in it ; certain it is 
that New Amsterdam has been languid for some years, 
and now the tide of commerce seems ebbing fast from 
the shores of Berbice. 

Gay and blooming is the sister colony of Demerara. 
Perhaps, kind reader, thou hast not forgot that it was 
from Stabroek, the capital of Demerara, that the 
adventurer set out, some years ago, to reach the Portu- 
guese frontier fort, and collected the wourali-poison. 
It was not intended, when this second sally was planned 
in England, to have visited Stabroek again by the 
route here described. The plan was to have ascended 
the Amazons from Para and got into the Rio Negro, 
and from thence to have returned towards the source 
of the Essequibo, in order to examine the crystal 
mountains, and look once more for Lake Parima, or 
the White Sea; but on arriving at Cayenne, the 


cuiTent was running Tvitli sucli amazing rapidity to 
leeward, that a Portuguese slooj), wliicli had been 
beating up towards Para for four weeks, was then 
only haK-way. Finding, therefore, that a beat to the 
Amazons would be long, tedious, and even uncertain, 
and aware that the season for procuring birds with fine 
plumage had already set in, I left Cayenne in an 
American ship for Paramaribo, went through the 
interior to the Coryntin, stopped a few days in New 
Amsterdam, and proceeded to Demerara. If, gentle 
reader, thy patience be not already worn out, and thy 
eyes half closed in slumber, by perusing the dull 
adventures of this second sally, perhaps thou wilt 
pardon a line or two on Demerara ; and then we will 
retire to its forests, to collect and examine the economy 
of its most rare and beautiful birds, and give the world 
a new mode of preserving them. 

Stabroek, the capital of Demerara, has been rapidly 
increasing for some years back ; and if prosperity go 
hand in hand with the present enterprising spirit, 
Stabroek, ere long, will be of the first colonial con- 
sideration. It stands on the eastern bank at the mouth 
of the Demerara, and enjoys all the advantages of the 
refreshing sea-breeze ; the streets are spacious, well- 
bricked, and elevated, the trenches clean, the bridges 
excellent, and the houses handsome. Almost every 
commodity and luxury of London may be bought in 


the shops at Stabroek ; its market wants better regula- 
tions. The hotels are commodious, clean, and well 
attended. Demerara boasts as fine and well- disciplined 
militia as any colony in the western world. 

The court of justice, where, in times of old, the 
bandage was easily removed from the eyes of the 
goddess, and her scales thrown out of equilibrium, 
now rises in dignity under the firmness, talents, and 
urbanity of Mr. President Rough. 

The plantations have an appearance of high culti- 
vation ; a tolerable idea may be formed of their value 
when you know that last year Demerara numbered 
seventy-two thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine 
slaves. They made about forty-four million pounds 
of sugar, near two million gallons of rum, above eleven 
million pounds of coffee, and three million eight 
hundred and nineteen thousand five hundred and twelve 
pounds of cotton ; the receipt into the public chest was 
five hundred and fifty-three thousand nine hundred and 
fifty-six guilders ; the public expenditure, four hun- 
dred and fifty-one thousand six hundred and three 

Slavery can never be defended ; ho whose heart is 
not of iron can never wish to be able to defend it : 
while he heaves a sigh for the poor negro in captivity, 
he wishes from his soul that the traffic had been stifled 
in its birth ; but, unfortunately, the Governments of 


Europe noiirislied it, and now tliat they are exerting 
themselves to do away the evil, and ensure liberty to 
the sons of Africa, the situation of the plantation slaves 
is depicted as truly deplorable, and their condition 
wretched. It is not so. A Briton's heart, proverbially 
kind and generous, is not changed by climate, or its 
streams of compassion dried up by the scorching heat 
of a Demerara sun ; he cheers his negroes in labour, 
comforts them in sickness, is kind to them in old age, 
and never forgets that they are his fellow-creatures. 

Instances of cruelty and depravity certainly occur 
here as well as all the world over : but the edicts of the 
colonial Government are well calculated to prevent 
them ; and the British planter, except here and there 
one, feels for the wrongs done to a poor ill-treated 
slave, and shows that his heart grieves for him by 
causing immediate redress, and preventing a repetition. 

Long may ye flourish, peaceful and liberal inhabi- 
tants of Demerara ! Tour doors are ever open to 
harbour the harbourless ; your purses never shut to the 
wants of the distressed : many a ruined fugitive from 
the Oroonoque will bless your kindness to him in the 
hour of need, when, flying from the woes of civil dis- 
cord, without food or raiment, he begged for shelter 
underneath your roof. The poor sufferer in Trinidad, 
who lost his all in the devouring flames, will remember 
your charity to his latest moments. T^e traveller, as 


he leaves your port, easts a longing lingering look 
behind; your attentions, your hospitality, your pleas- 
antry and mirth, are uppermost in his thoughts ; your 
prosperity is close to his heart. Let us now, gentle 
reader, retire from the busy scenes of man, and journey 
on towards the wilds in quest of the feathered tribe. 

Leave behind you your high-seasoned dishes, your 
wines and your delicacies ; carry nothing but what 
is necessary for your own comfort and the object 
in view, and depend upon the skill of an Indian, or your 
own, for fish and game. A sheet, about twelve feet 
long, ten wide, painted, and with loop-holes on each 
side, will be of great service ; in a few minutes you can 
suspend it betwixt two trees in the shape of a roof. 
Under this, in your hammock, you may defy the pelting 
shower, and sleep heedless of the dews of night. A 
hat, a shirt, and a light pair of trousers, will be all the 
raiment you require. Custom will soon teach you to 
tread lightly and barefoot on the little inequalities of 
ground, and show you how to pass on, un wounded, 
amid the mantling briers. 

Snakes in these wilds are certainly an annoyance, 
though perhaps more in imagination than reality : for 
you must recollect that the serpent is never the fii'st to 
offend ; his poisonous fang was not given him for con- 
quest : he never inflicts a wound with it but to defend 
existence. Provided you walk cautiously, and do not 


absolutely touch Liin, you may pass in safety close by 
liim. As lie is often coiled up on the ground, and 
amongst the branches of the trees above you, a degree 
of circumspection is necessary, lest you unwarily disturb 

Tigers are too few, and too apt to fly before the 
noble face of man, to require a moment of your atten- 

The bite of the most noxious of the insects, at the 
very worst, only causes a transient fever, with a degree 
of pain more or less. 

Birds in general, with few exceptions, are not com- 
mon in the very remote parts of the forest. The sides 
of rivers, lakes, and creeks, the borders of savannas, 
the old abandoned habitations of Indians and wood- 
cutters, seem to be their favourite haunts. 

Though least in size, the glittering mantle of the 
humming-bird entitles it to the first place in the list of 
the birds of the Xew World. It may truly be called the 
Bird of Paradise ; and had it existed in the Old World, 
it would have claimed the title instead of the bird 
which has now the honour to bear it. See it darting 
through the air almost as quick as thought I — now it is 
within a yard of yoTir face ! — in an instant gone! — now 
it flutters from flower to flower to sip the silver dew — 
it is now a ruby — now a topaz — now an emerald — now 
aU burnished gold ! It would be arrogant to pretend 


to describe this winged gem of nature after Buffo n's 
elegant description of it. 

Cayenne and Demerara produce the same humming- 
birds. Perhaps you would wish to know something of 
their haunts. Chiefly in tlie months of July and 
August the tree called hois ininiortel, very common in 
Demerara, bears abundance of red blossom, which stays 
on the tree some weeks ; then it is that most of the 
different species of humming-l)irds are very plentiful. 
The wild red sage is also their favourite shrub, and 
they buzz like bees around the blossom of the wallaba- 
tree. Indeed, there is scarce a flower in the interior, 
or on the sea-coast, but what receives frequent visits 
from one or other of the species. 

On entering the forests, on the rising land in the 
interior, the blue and green, the smallest brown, no 
bigger than the bumblebee, with two long feathers in 
the tail, and the little forked-tail purple-throated 
humming-birds, glitter before you in ever-changing 
attitudes. One species alone never shows his beauty to 
the sun ; and were it not for his lovely shining colours, 
you might almost be tempted to class him with the 
goatsuckers on account of his habits. He is the largest 
of all the humming-birds, and is all red and changing 
gold-green, except the head, which is black. He has 
two long feathers in the tail, which cross each other, 
and these have gained him the name of karabimiti, or 


ara humming-bird, from the Indians. Ton will never 
find him on the sea-coast, or where the river is salt, or 
in the heart of tlie forest, unless fresh water be there. 
He keeps close by the side of woody fresh-water rivers 
and dark and lonely creeks. He leaves his retreat 
before sunrise to feed on the insects over the water ; he 
returns to it as soon as the sun's rays cause a glare of 
light, is sedentary all day long, and comes out again 
for a short time after sunset. He builds his nest on a 
twig over the water in the unfrequented creeks ; it 
looks like tanned cow-leather. 

As you advance towards the mountains of Demerara, 
other species of humming-birds present themselves 
before you. It seems to be an erroneous opinion that 
the humming-bird lives entirely on honey-dew. Almost 
every flower of the tropical climate contains insects of 
one kind or other; now. the humming-bird is most 
busy about the flowers an hour or two after sunrise 
and after a shower of rain, and it is just at this time 
that the insects come out to the edge of the flower in 
order that the sun's rays may dry the nocturnal dew 
and rain which they have received. On opening the 
stomach of the humming-bird, dead insects are almost 
always found there. 

Next to the humming-birds, the cotingas display the 
gayest plumage. They are of the order of passeres, 
and you number five species betwixt the sea-coast and 



the rock Saba. Perhaps the scarlet cotinga is the 
richest of the fire, and is one of those birds which are 
found in the deepest recesses of the forest. His crown 
is flaming red ; to this abruptly succeeds a dark shining 
brown, reaching half-way down the back : the remainder 
of the back, tlie rump, and tail, the extremity of which 
is edged with black, are a lively red ; the belly is a 
somewhat lighter red ; the breast, reddish-black ; the 
wings, brown. He has no song, is solitary, and utters 
a monotonous whistle which sounds like '^ quet." He 
is fond of the seeds of the hitia-tree, and those of the 
siloabali and bastard-siloabali trees, which ripen in 
December, and continue on the trees for about two 
months. He is found throughout the year in Demerara ; 
still nothing is known of his incubation. The Indians 
all agree in telling you that they have never seen his 


The purple-breasted cotinga has the throat and breast 

of a deep purple, the wings and tail black, and all the 

rest of the body a most lively shining blue. 

The purple-throated continga has black wings and 
tail, and every other part a light and glossy blue, save 
the throat, which is purple. 

The pompadour cotinga is entirely purple, except 
his wings, which are white, their four first feathers 
tii3ped with brown. The great coverts of the wings 
are stiff, narrow, and pointed, being shaped quite 


different from those of any other bird. When you 
are betwixt this bird and the sun in his flight, he 
appears uncommonly brilliant. He makes a hoarse 
noise, which sounds like " wallababa." Hence his name 
amongst the Indians. 

None of these three cotingas have a song. They 
feed on the hitia, siloabali, and bastard-siloabali seeds, 
the "wild guava, the fig, and other fruit trees of the 
forest. They are easily shot in tliese trees during the 
months of December, January, and part of February. 
The greater part of them disapi)ear after this, and 
probably retire far away to breed. Their nests have 
never been found in Demerara. 

The fifth species is the celebrated campanero of the 
Spaniards, called dara by the Indians and bell- bird by 
the English. He is about the size of the jay. His 
plumage is white as snow. On his forehead rises a 
spiral tube nearly three inches long. It is jet-black, 
dotted all over with small white feathers. It has a 
communication with the palate, and when filled with 
air, looks like a spire ; when empty, it becomes pendu- 
lous. His note is loud and clear, like the sound of a 
bell, and may be heard at the distance of three miles. 
In the midst of these extensive wilds, generally on the 
dried top of an aged mora, almost out of gun reach, 
you will see the campanero. No sound or song from 
any of the winged inhabitants of the forest, not even 


tlie clearly-pronouuced *' Whip-poor- Will," from the 
goatsucker, causes such astonishment as the toll of the 

With many of the feathered race, he pays the com- 
mon tribute of a morning and an evening song ; and 
even when the meridian sun has shut in silence the 
mouths of almost the wliole of animated nature, the 
campanero still cheers the forest. Tou hear his toll, 
and then a pause for a minute, then another toll, and 
then a pause again, and then a toll, and again a pause. 
Then he is silent for six or eight minutes, and then 
another toll, and so on. Actason would stop in mid 
chase, Maria would defer her evening song, and Orpheus 
himself would drop his lute to listen to him, so sweet 
so novel, and romantic is the toll of the pretty snow- 
white campanero. He is never seen to feed with the 
other cotingas, nor is it known in what part of Guiana 
he makes his nest. 

While cotingas attract your attention by their 
superior plumage, the singular form of the toucan 
makes a lasting impression on your memory. There 
are three species of toucans in Demerara, and three 
diminutives, which may be called toucanets. The 
largest of the first species frequents the mangrove- 
trees on the sea -coast. He is never seen in the interior 
till you reach Macoushia, where he is found in the 
neighbourhood of the river Tacatou. The other two 


species are very eommou. They feed entirely on tlie 
fruits of the forest, and though of the pie kind, never 
kill the young of other birds or touch carrion. The 
larger is called bouradi by the Indians (which means 
** nose "}, the other, scirou. They seem partial to each 
other's company, and often resort to the same feeding 
tree, and retire together to the same shady noon- day 
retreat. They are very noisy in rainy weather at all 
hours of the day, and in fair weather, at morn and eve. 
The sound whicli the bouradi makes is like the clear 
yelping of a puppy dog, and you fancy he says, 
*' pia-po-o-co,'' and thus the South American Spaniards 
call him piapoco. 

All the toucauets feed on the same trees on which 
the toucan feeds, and every species of this family of- 
enormous bill lays its eggs in the hollow trees. They 
are social, but not gregarious. You may sometimes 
see eight or ten in company, and from this you would 
suppose they are gregarious ; but, upon a closer examina- 
tion, you will find it has only been a dinner party, 
which breaks up and disperses towards roosting-time. 

You will be at a loss to conjecture for what ends 
nature has overloaded the head of this bird with such 
an enormous bill. It cannot be for the offensive, as 
it has no need to wage war with any of the tribes of 
animated nature ; for its food is fruits and seeds, and 
those are in superabundance throughout the whole 


year in the regions wliere the toucan is found. It can 
liardly be for the defensive, as tlie toucan is preyed 
upon by no bird in South America, and were it obliged 
to be at war, the texture of the bill is ill adapted to 
give or receive blows, a,s you will see in dissecting it. 
It cannot be for any particular protection to the tongue, 
as tlie tongue is a perfect feather. 

The flight of the toucan is by jerks ; in the action 
of flying it seems incommoded by this huge dispropor- 
tioned feature, and the head seems as if bowed down 
to the earth by it against its will ; if the extraordinary 
form and size of the bill expose the toucan to ridicule, 
its colours make it amends. Were a specimen of each 
species of the toucan presented to you, you would pro- 
nounce the bill of the bouradi the most rich and 
beautiful ; on the ridge of the upper mandible a broad 
stripe of most lovely yellow extends from the head to 
the point ; a stripe of the same breadth, though some- 
what deeper yellow, falls from it at right angles next 
the head down to the edge of the mandible ; then follows 
a black stripe, half as broad, falling at right angles from 
the ridge, and running narrower along the edge to within 
half an inch of the j)oiut. The rest of the mandible is 
a deep bright red. The lower mandible has no yellow ; 
its black and red are distributed in the same manner 
as on the upper one, with this difference, that there 
is black about an inch from the point. The stripe 


corresponding to the deep yellow stripe on the upper 
mandible is sky blue. It is worthy of remark that all 
these brilliant colours of the bill are to be found in 
the plumage of the body, and the bare skin round the 

All these colours, except the blue, are inherent in the 
horn ; that part which appears blue is in reality trans- 
parent white, and receives its colour from a thin piece 
of blue skin inside. This superb bill fades in death, 
and in three or four days' time has quite lost its 
original colours. 

Till within these few years no idea of the true 
colours of the bill could be formed from the stuffed 
toucans brought to Europe. About eight years ago, 
while eating a boiled toucan, the thought struck me 
that the colours in the bill of a preserved specimen 
might be kept as bright as those in life. A series of 
experiments proved this beyond a doubt. If you take 
your penknife and cut away the roof of the upper 
mandible, you will find that the space betwixt it and 
the outer shell contains a large collection of veins, 
and small osseous fibres running in aU directions 
through the whole extent of the bill. Clear away all 
these with your knife, and you wiU come to a substance 
more firm than skin, but of not so strong a texture as 
the horn itseK ; cut tliis away also, and behind it is 
discovered a thin and tender membrane : yellow where 


it has touched the yellow part of the horn, blue where 
it has touched the red part, and black towards the 
edge and point. Wlion dried, this thin and tender 
membrane becomes nearly black ; as soon as it is cut 
away, nothing remains but the outer horn, red and 
yellow, and now become transparent. Tlie under man- 
dible must undergo the same operation. Great care 
must be taken, and the knife used very cautiously 
when you are cutting through tlie different parts close 
to where the bill joins on to the head : if you cut 
away too much, the bill drops off; if you press too 
hard, the knife comes through the horn ; if you leave 
too great a portion of the membrane, it appears 
through the horn,, and by becoming black when dried, 
makes the horn appear black also, and has a bad effect. 
Judgment, caution, skill, and practice will ensure 

You have now cleared the bill of all those bodies 
which are tlie cause of its apparent fading ; for, as has 
been said before, these bodies dry in death, and become 
quite discoloured, and appear so through the horn ; and 
reviewing the bill in this state, you conclude that its 
former bright colours are lost. 

Something still remains to be done. You have 

rendered the bill transparent by the operation, and that 

transparency must be done away to make it appear 

perfectly natural. Pound some clean chalk, and give 

F — 54 


it enough water till it be of the consistency of tar ; 
add a proportion of gum-arabic to make it adliesive ; 
then take a camel-liair Ijrush, and give the inside of 
both mandibles a coat ; apply a second when the first 
is dry, then another, and a fourth to finish all. The 
gum-arabic will prevent the chalk from cracking and 
falling off. If you remember, there is a little space of 
transparent white on the lower mandible which origin- 
ally appeared blue, but which became transparent 
white as soon as the thin piece of blue skin was 
cut away ; this must be painted blue inside. When 
all this is completed, the bill will please you ; it will 
appear in its original colours. Probably your own 
abilities will suggest a cleverer mode of operating 
than the one here described. A small gouge would 
assist the penknife, and render the operation less 

The houtou ranks high in beauty amongst the birds 
of Demerara — his whole body is green, with a bluish 
cast in the wings and tail ; his crown, which he erects 
at pleasure, consists of black in the centre, surrounded 
with lovely blue of two different shades : he has a 
triangular black spot, edged with blue, behind the 
eye, extending to the ear ; and on his breast a sable 
tuft, consisting of nine feathers edged also with blue. 
This bird seems to suppose that its beauty can be 
increased by trimming the tail, which undergoes the 


same operation as our hair in a barber's shop', only 
with this difference, that it uses its own beak, which 
is serrated, in lieu of a pair of scissors ; as soon as 
his tail is full grown, he begins about an inch from 
the extremity of the two longest feathers in it, and 
cuts away the web on both sides of the shaft, making 
a gap about an inch long ; both male and female 
Adonise their tails in this manner, which gives them 
a remarkable appearance amongst all other birds. 
While we consider the tail of the houtou blemished 
and defective, were he to come amongst us he would 
probably consider our heads, cropped and bald, in no 
better light. He who wishes to observe this handsome 
bird in his native haunts must be in the forest at the 
morning's dawn. The houtou shuns the society of 
man : the plantations and cultivated parts are too 
much disturbed to engage it to settle there ; the thick 
and gloomy forests are the places preferred by the 
solitary houtou. In those far-extending wilds, about 
daybreak, you hear him articulate, in a distinct and 
mournful tone, " Houtou, houtou." Move cautiously on 
to where the sound proceeds from, and you will see 
him sitting in the underwood, about a couple of yards 
from the ground, his tail moving up and down every 
time he articulates " houtou." He lives on insects 
and the berries amongst the underwood, and very 
rarely is seen in tlie lofty trees, except tlie bastard- 


siloabali tree, the fniit of which is grateful to him. 
He makes no uest, but rears his young in a hole in the 
sand, generally on the side of a hill. 

While in quest of the houtou you will now and 
then fall in with the jay of Guiana, called by the 
Indians ibibirou. Its forehead is black, the rest of 
the head white ; the throat and breast like the English 
magpie : about an inch of the extremity of the tail 
is white, the other part of it, together with the back 
and wings, a greyish changing purple ; the belly is 
white : there are generally six or eight of them in 
company ; they are shy and garrulous, and tarry a 
very short time in one place ; they are never seen in 
the cultivated parts. 

Through the whole extent of the forest, chiefly 
from sunrise till nine o'clock in the morning, you 
hear a sound of " Wow, wow, wow, wow." This is 
the bird called boclora by the Indians. It is smaller 
than the common pigeon, and seems, in some measure, 
to partake of its nature ; its head and breast are 
blue ; the back and rump somewhat resemble the 
colour on the peacock's neck ; its belly is a bright 
yellow ; the legs are so very short that it always ap- 
pears as if sitting on the branch ; it is as ill-adapted 
for walking as the swallow; its neck, for above an 
inch all round, is quite bare of feathers, but this de- 
ficiency is not seen. f(»r it always sits witli its head 


drawn in upon its shoulders : it sometimes feeds with 
the cotingas on the guava and hitia trees ; but its 
chief nutriment seems to be insects, and, like most 
birds which follow this prey, its chaps are well armed 
with bristles : it is found in Demerara at all times of 
the year, and makes a nest resembling that of the 
stock-dove. This bird never takes long flights, and 
when it crosses a river or creek it goes by long 

Tho boclora is very unsuspicious, appearing quite 
heedless of danger : the report of a gun within twenty 
yards will not cause it to leave the branch on which it 
is sitting, and you may often approach it so near as 
almost to touch it with the end of your bow. Perhaps 
there is no bird known whoso feathers are so slightly 
fixed to the skin as those of the boclora. After shoot- 
ing it, if it touch a branch in its descent, or if it drop 
on hard ground, whole heaps of feathers fall off ; on 
this account it is extremely hard to procure a specimen 
for preservation. As soon as the skin is dry in the 
preserved specimen, the feathers become as well fixed 
as those in any other bird. 

Another species, larger than the boclora, attracts 
much of your notice in these wilds ; it is called cuia 
by the Indians, from the sound of its voice ; its habits 
are the same as those of the boclora, but its colours 
different ; its head, breast, back, and rump are a 


shilling, chaiigiug green ; its tail not quite so briglit ; a 
black bar runs across the tail towards the extremity ; 
and the outside feathers are partly white, as in the 
boclora ; its belly is entirely vermilion, a bar of white 
separating it from the green on the breast. 

There are diminutives of both these birds ; they 
have the same habits, with a somewhat different 
plumage, and about half the size. Arrayed from head 
to tail in a robe of richest sable hue, the bird called 
rice-bird loves spots cultivated by the hand of man. 
The woodcutter's house on the hills in the interior, 
and the planter's habitation on the sea-coast, equally 
attract this songless species of the order of pie, j)ro- 
vided the Indian corn be ripe there. He is nearly of 
the jackdaw's size, and makes his nest far away from 
the haunts of men ; he may truly be called a blackbird : 
independent of his plumage, his beak, inside and out, 
his legs, his toes, and claws, are jet black. 

Mankind, by clearing the ground, and sowing a 
variety of seeds, induces many kinds of birds to leave 
their native haunts and come and settle near him ; 
their little depredations on his seeds and fruits prove 
that it is the property, and not the proprietor, which 
has the attractions. 

One bird, however, in Demerara, is not actuated by 
selfish motives; this is the cassique; in size, he is 
larger than the starling ; he courts the society of man. 


but disdains to live b}' liis labours. When nature calls 
for support, he repairs to the neighbouring forest, and 
there partakes of the store of fruits and seeds which 
she has produced in abundance for her aerial tribes. 
When his repast is over, he returns to man, and pays 
the little tribute which he owes him for his protection ; 
he takes his station on a tree close to his house, and 
there, for hours together, pours forth a succession of 
imitative notes. His own song is sweet, but very- 
short. If a toucan be yelping in the neighbourhood, 
he drops it, and imitates him. Then he will amuse his 
protector with the Cries of the different species of the 
woodpecker; and when the sheep bleat, he will dis- 
tinctly answer them. Then comes his own song again ; 
and if a puppy-dog or a Guinea-fowl interrupt him, he 
takes them off admirably, and by his different gestures 
during the time, you would conclude that he enjoys the 

The cassique is gregarious, and imitates any sound 
he hears with such exactness, that he goes by no 
other name than that of mocking-bird amongst the 

At breeding-time, a number of these pretty choristers 
resort to a tree near the planter's house, and from its 
outside branches weave their pendulous nests. So 
conscious do they seem that they never give offence, 
and so little suspicious are they of receiving any injury 


from man, that they will choose a tree within forty 
yards from his house, and occupy the branches so low 
down, that he may peep into the nests. A tree in 
Waratilla creek affords a proof of this. 

The proportions of the cassique are so fine, that he 
may be said to be a model of symmetry in ornithology. 
On each wing he has a bright yellow spot, and his 
rump, belly, and half the tail are of the same colour. 
All the rest of the body is black. His beak is the 
colour of sulphur, but it fades in death, and requires 
the same operation as the bill of the toucan to make it 
keep its colours. Up the rivers, in the interior, there 
is another cassique, nearly the same size, and of the 
same habits, though not gifted with its powers of imi- 
tation. Except in breeding time, you will see Imndreds 
of them retiring to roost, amongst the mocamoca-trees 
and low shrubs on the banks of the Demerara, after 
you pass the first island. They are not common on 
the sea-coast. The rump of the cassique is a flaming 
scarlet. All the rest of the body is a rich glossy black. 
His bill is sulphur colour. You may often see num- 
bers of this species weaving their pendulous nests 
on one side of a tree, while numbers of the other species 
are busy in forming theirs on the opposite side of the 
same tree. Though such near neighbours, the females 
are never observed to kick up a row, or come to 
blows ! 


Another species of eassiqiie, as large as a crow, is 
very corumon in the plantations. In the morning he 
generally repairs to a large tree, and there, with his 
tail spread over his back, and shaking his lowered 
wings, he prodnces notes which, though they cannot be 
said to amount to a song, still have something very 
sweet and pleasing in them. He makes his nest in 
the same form as the other cassiques. It is above four 
feet long ; and when you pass under the tree, whicii 
often contains fifty or sixty of them, you cannot help 
stopping to admire them as they wave to and fro, the 
sport of every storm and breeze. The rump is chest- 
nut ; ten feathers of the tail are a fine yellow, the re- 
maining two, whicli are the middle ones, are black, and 
an inch shorter than the others. His bill is sulphur 
colour ; all the rest of the body black, with here and 
there shades of brown. He has five or six long narrow 
black feathers on the back of his head, which he erects 
at pleasure. 

There is one more species of cassique in Demerara, 
which always prefers the forest to the cultivated parts. 
His economy is the same as that of the other cassiques. 
He is rather smaller than the last described bird. His 
body is greenish, and his tail and rump paler than those 
of the former. Half of his beak is red. 

Ton would not be long in the forests of Demerara 
without noticing the woodpeckers. Ton meet with 


them feeding at all hours of the day. Well may they 
do so. Were they to follow the example of most of 
the otlier birds, aud ouly feed in the morning and 
evening, they would be often on short allowance, for 
they sometimes have to labour three or four hours at 
the tree before they get to their food. The sound 
which the largest kind makes in hammering against 
the bark of the tree is so loud, that you would never 
suppose it to proceed from the efforts of a bird. You 
would take it to be the woodman, with his axe, trying 
by a sturdy blow, often repeated, whether the tree 
were sound or not. There are fourteen species here ; 
the largest the size of a magpie, the smallest no bigger 
than the wren. They are all beautiful ; and tlie greater 
part of them have their heads ornamented with a fine 
crest, movable at pleasure. 

It is said, if you once give a dog a bad name, 
whether innocent or guilty, he never loses it ; it sticks 
close to him wherever he goes. He has many a kick 
and many a blow to bear on account of it ; and there is 
nobody to stand up for him. The woodpecker is little 
better off. The proprietors of woods in Europe have 
long accused him of injuring their timber, by boring 
holes in it, and letting in the water, which soon rots it. 
The colonists in America have the same complaint 
against him. Had he the power of speech, which 
Ovid's birds possessed in days of yore, he could soon 


make a defence. " Miprlitj lord of the woods," he would 
say to Juan, " wliy do you wrongfully accuse nie ? why 
do you hunt me up and down to death for an imaginary 
offence ? I have never spoiled a leaf of your property, 
much less your wood. Your merciless shot strikes 
me at the very time I am doing you a service. But 
your short-sightedness will not let you see it, or your 
pride is above examining closely the actions of so in- 
significant a little bird as I am. If there be that spark of 
feeling in your breast which they say man possesses, or 
ought to possess, above all other animals, do a poor in- 
jured creature a little kindness, and watch me in your 
woods only for one day. I never wound your healthy 
trees. I sliould perish for want in the attempt. The 
sound bark would easily resist the force of my bill .- 
and were I even to pierce through it, there would be 
nothing inside that I could fancy, or my stomacli 
digest. I often visit them, it is true, but a knock or 
two convince me that I must go elsewhere for support ; 
and were you to listen attentively to the sound which 
my bill causes, you would know whether I am upon a 
healthy or an unhealthy tree. Wood and bark are not 
my food. I live entirely upon the insects which have 
already formed a lodgment in the distempered tree. 
When the sound informs me that my prey is there, I 
labour for hours together till I get at it ; and by con- 
suraing it, for my own support, I prevent its further 


depredations in that part. Thus I discover for you 
your hidden and unsuspected foe, which has been de- 
vouring your wood in such secrecy, that you had not 
tlie least suspicion it was tliere. The hole whicli I 
make in order to get at tlie pernicious vermin will be 
seen by you as you pass under the tree. I leave it as a 
signal to tell you that your tree has already stood too 
long. It is past its prime. Millions of insects, en- 
gendered by disease, are preying upon its vitals. Ere 
long it will fall a log in useless ruins. Warned by 
this loss, cut down the rest in time, and spare, O spare 
the unoffending woodpecker." 

In the rivers, and different creeks, you number six 
species of the kingfisher. They make their nest in a 
hole in the sand on tlie side of the bank. As there is 
always plenty of foliage to protect them from the heat 
of the sun, they feed at all hours of the day. Though 
their plumage is prettily varied, still it falls far short of 
the brilliancy displayed by the English kingfisher. This 
little native of Britain would outweigh them altogether 
in the scale of beauty. 

A bird called jacamar is often taken for a king- 
fisher, but it has no relationship to that tribe ; it fre- 
quently sits in the trees over the water, and as its beak 
bears some resemblance to that of the kingfisher, this 
may probably account for its being taken for one ; it 
feeds entirely upon insects ; it sits on a branch in 


motionless expectation, and as soon as a fij, butterfly, 
or moth passes by, it darts at it, and returns to the 
branch it had just left. It seems an indolent, seden- 
tary bird, shunning the society of all others in the 
forest. It never visits the plantations, but is found at 
all times of the year in the woods. There are four 
species of jacamar in Demerara ; they are all beautiful ; 
the largest, rich and superb in tlie extreme. Its plu- 
mage is of so fine a changing blue and golden green, that 
it may be ranked with the choicest of the humming- 
birds. Nature has denied it a song, but given a 
costly garment in lieu of it. The smallest species of 
jacamar is very common in the dry savannas. The 
second size, all golden gi'een on the back, must be 
looked for in the wallaba forest. The third is found 
throughout the whole extent of these wilds ; and the 
fourth, which is tlie largest, frequents the interior, 
where you begin to perceive stones in the ground. 

When you have penetrated far into Macoushia, you 
hear the pretty songster called troupiale poiir forth a 
variety of sweet and plaintive notes. This is the bird 
which the Portuguese call the nightingale of Guiana ; 
its predominant colours are rich orange and shining 
black, arrayed to great advantage; his delicate and 
well-sha]3ed frame seems unable to bear captivity. The 
Indians sometimes bring down troupiales to Stabroek, 
but in a few months they languish and die in a cage. 


They soon become very familiar ; aud if you allow them 
the liberty of the house, they live longer tlian iu a cage, 
and appear in better spirits ; but, when you least expect 
it, tliey drop down and die in epilepsy. 

Smaller in size, and of colour not so rich and some- 
what differently arranged, another species of troupiale 
sings melodiously in Demerara. The woodcutter is 
particularly favoured by him ; for while the hen is 
sitting on her nest, built in the roof of the woodcutter's 
house, he sings for hours together close by : he prefers 
the forests to the cultivated parts. 

You would not grudge to stop for a few minutes, as 
you are walking in the plantations, to observe a third 
species of troupiale : his wings, tail, and throat are 
black; all the rest of the body is a bright yellow. 
There is something very sweet and plaintive in his 
song, though much shorter than that of the troupiale 
in the interior. 

A fourth species goes in flocks from place to place 
in the cultivated parts at the time the Indian corn is 
ripe ; he is all black, except the head and throat, which 
are yellow ; his attempt at song is not worth attending 

Wherever there is a wild fig-tree ripe, a numerous 
species of birds, called tangara, is sure to be on it. 
There are eighteen beautiful species here. Their plum- 
age is very rich and diversified ; some of them boast 


six separate colours ; others have the blue, purple, 
green, and black so kindly blended into each other, 
that it would be impossible to mark their boundaries ; 
while others again exhibit them strong, distinct, and 
abrupt : many of these tangaras liave a fine song. 
They seem to partake much of the nature of our 
linnets, sparrows, and finches. Some of them are 
fond of the plantations ; otliers are never seen there, 
preferring the wild seeds of the forest to the choicest 
fruits planted by the hand of man. 

On the same fig-trees to which they repair, and often 
accidentally up and down the forest, you fall in with 
four species of manikin. The largest is white and 
black, with the feathers on the throat remarkably long ; 
the next in size is half red and half black ; the third, 
black, with a white crown ; the fourth, black, with a 
golden crown, and red feathers at the knee. The half 
red and haK black species is the scarcest. There is a 
creek in the Demerara called Oamouni. About ten 
minutes from the mouth, you see a common-sized fig- 
tree on your right-hand, as you ascend, hanging over 
water ; it bears a very small fig twice a year. When 
its fruit is ripe, this manikin is on the tree from morn 
till eve. 

On all the ripe fig-trees in the forest you see the 
bird called the small tiger-bird. Like some of our 
belles and dandies, it has a gaudy vest to veil an ill- 


shaped body : the throat, and part of the head, are a 
bright red ; the breast and belly have black spots on 
a yellow ground ; the wiugs are a dark green, black, 
and white ; and the rump and tail black and green. 
Like the manikin, it has no song : it depends solely 
upon a showy garment for admiration. 

Devoid, too, of song, and in a still superber garb, 
the yawaraciri comes to feed on the same tree. It 
has a bar like black velvet from the eyes to the beak ; 
its legs are yellow ; its throat, wings, and tail black ; 
all tlie rest of the body a charming blue. Chiefly in 
the dry savannas, and here and there accidentally in 
the forest, you see a songless yawaraciri still lovelier 
than the last : his crown is whitish ))lue, arrayed like 
a coat of mail; his tail is black, his wings black and 
yellow, legs red, and the whole body a glossy blue. 
Whilst roving through the forest, ever and anon you 
see individuals of the wren species busy amongst the 
fallen leaves, or seeking insects at the roots of the 

Here, too, you find six or seven species of small birds, 
whose backs appear to be overloaded with silky plum- 
age. One of these, with a chestnut breast, smoke- 
coloured back, tail red, white feathers like horns on his 
head, and white narrow-pointed feathers under the jaw, 
feeds entirely upon ants. When a nest of large, light 
brown ants emigrates, one following the other in 


meandering lines above a mile long, you see tins bird 
watching them, and ever}'^ now and then picking them 
up. When they disappear he is seen no more : perhaps 
this is the only kind of ant he is fond of; when these 
ants are stirring, you are sure to find him near them. 
Ton cannot well mistake the ant after you have once 
been in its company, for its sting is very severe, and 
you can hardly shoot the bird, and pick it up, without 
having five or six upon you. 

Parrots and paroquets are very numerous here, and 
of many different kinds. You will know when they 
are near you in th(i forest, not only by the noise they 
make, but also by the fruits and seeds which they let 
fall while they are feeding. 

The hia-hia parrot, called in England the "parrot of 
the sun," is very remarkable : he can erect at pleasure a 
fine radiated circle of tartan feathers quite round the 
back of his head from jaw to jaw. The fore-part of 
his head is white : his back, tail, and wings green ; 
and his breast and belly tartan. 

Superior in size and beauty to every parrot of South 
America, the ara will force you to take your eyes from 
the rest of animated nature and gaze at him : his com- 
manding strength, the flaming scarlet of his body, the 
lovely variety of red, yellow, blue, and green in his 
wings, the extraordinary length of his scarlet and blue 
tail, seem all to join and demand for him the title of 


" emperor of all the parrots." He is scarce in Demerara 
till you reach the confines of the Macoushi country ; 
there he is in vast abundance ; he mostly feeds on trees 
of the palm species. When the coucourite-trees have 
ripe fruit on them, they are covered with this magnifi- 
cent parrot : he is not shy or wary ; you may take your 
blow-pipe and quiver of poisoned arrows, and kill more 
than you are able to carry back to your hut. They are 
very vociferous, and, like the common parrots, rise up 
in bodies tow^ards sunset, and fly two ajid two to their 
place of rest. It is a grand sight in ornithology to see 
thousands of aras flying over your head, low enough 
to let you have a full view of their flaming m?intle. 
The Indians find their flesh very good, and the feathers 
serve for ornaments in their head-dresses. They breed 
in the holes of trees, are easily reared and tamed, and 
learn to speak pretty distinctly. 

Another species frequents the low lands of Deme- 
rara. He is nearly the size of the scarlet ara, but much 
inferior in plumage. Blue and yellow are his pre- 
dominant colours. 

Along the creeks and river sides, and in the wet 
savannas, six species of the bittern will engage your 
attention. They are all handsome. The smallest is not 
so large as the English water-hen. 

In the savannas, too, you will sometimes surprise 
the snow-white egrette, whose back is adorned with 


the plumes from wliieli it takes its name. Here, too. 
the spur- winged water-hen, the blue and green water- 
hen, and two other species of ordinary plumage are 
found. While in quest of these, the blue heron, the 
large and small brown heron, the boat-bill, and Mus- 
covy duck now and then rise up before you. 

When the sun has sunk in the western woods, no 
longer agitated by the breeze ; when you can only see 
a straggler or two of the feathered tribe hastening to 
join its mate, already at its roostiug-place, then it is 
that the goatsucker comes out of the forest, where it 
has sat all day long in slumbering ease, unmindful of 
the gay and busy scenes around it. Its eyes are too 
delicately formed to bear the light, and thus it is forced 
to shun the flaming face of day, and wait in patience 
till night invites him to partake of the pleasures her 
dusky presence brings. 

The harmless, unoffending goatsucker, from the time 
of Aristotle down to the present day, has been in dis- 
grace with man. Father has handed down to son, 
and author to author, that this nocturnal thief subsists 
by milking the flocks. Poor injured little bird of 
night, how sadly hast thou suffered, and how foul a 
stain has inattention to facts put upon thy character ! 
Tliou hast never robbed man of any part of his pro- 
perty, nor deprived the kid of a drop of milk. 

When the moon shines bright you may have a fair 


opportunity of examining the goatsucker. You will 
see it close by the cows, goats, and sheep, jumping up 
every now and then under their bellies. Approaeli a 
little nearer — he is not shy, " he fears no danger, for 
he knows no sin." See how the nocturnal Hies are 
tormenting the herd, and with what dexterity he springs 
up and catches them, as fast as they alight on the belly, 
legs, and udder of the animals. Observe how quiet 
they stand, and how sensible they seem of his good 
offices, for they neither strike at him, nor hit liim with 
their tail, nor tread on him, nor try to drive him away 
as an uncivil intruder. Were yon to dissect him. and 
inspect his stomach, you would find no milk there. It 
is full of the flies which liave been annoying the herd. 
The prettily-mottled plumage of the goatsucker, 
like that of the owl, wants the lustre which is observed 
in the feathers of the birds of day. This at once 
marks him as a lover of the pale moon's nightly beams. 
There are nine species here. The largest appears 
nearly tlie size of the English wood-owl. Its cry is so 
remarkable that, having once heard it, you will never 
forget it. When night reigns over these immeasurable 
wilds, whilst lying in your hammock, you will hear 
this goatsucker lamenting like one in deep distress. 
A stranger would never conceive it to be the cry of a 
bird. He would say it was the departing voice of a 
midnight-murdered victim, or the last wailing of Niobe 


for her poor children, before she was turned into stone. 
Suppose yourself in hopeless sorrow, begin with a high 
loud note, and pronounce, " Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha," 
each note lower and lower, till the last is scarcely 
lieard, pausing a moment or two betwixt every note, 
and you will have some idea of the moaning of the 
largest goatsucker in Demerara. 

Four other species of the goatsucker articulate some 
words so distinctly, that they have received their 
names from the sentences they utter, and absolutely 
bewilder the stranger on his arrival in these parts. 
The most common one sits down close by your door, 
and flies and alights three or four yards before you, 
as you walk along the road, crying, " Who-are-you, 
who-who-who-are-you ? " Another bids you, " Work- 
away, work- work- work-away." A third cries moui'u- 
fully, " Willy-come-go. Willy- Willy- Willy-come-go." 
And high up in the country, a fourth tells you to 
" Whip-poor- Will. Whip-whip- whip-poor-Will." 

You will never persuade the negro to destroy these 
birds, or get the Indian to let fly his arrow at them. 
They are birds of omen and reverential dread. Jumbo, 
the demon of Africa, has them under his command ; 
and they equally obey the Tabahou, or Demerara 
Indian devil. They are the receptacles for departed 
souls, who come back again to earth, unable to rest 
for crimes done in their days of nature ; or they are 


expressly seut by Juin})o. or Yabaliou, to liaunt erne] 
and hard-hearted masters, and retaliate injuries re- 
ceived from them. If the largest goatsucker chance 
to cry near the white man's door, sorrow and grief will 
soon be inside ; and they expect to see the master waste 
away with a slow consuming sickness. If it be heard 
close to the negro's or Indian's hut. from that night 
misfortune sits brooding over it ; and they await the 
event in terrible suspense. 

You will forgive the poor Indian of Guiana for this. 
He knows no better ; he has nobody to teach him. 
But shame it is that, in our own civilised country, the 
black cat and broomstaff should be considered as con- 
ductors to and from the regions of departed spirits. 

Many years ago I knew poor harmless Mary ; old 
age had marked her strongly, just as he will mark you 
and me, should we arrive at her years and carry the 
weight of grief which bent her double. The old men 
of the village sRid she had been very pretty in her 
youth ; and nothing could be seen more comely than 
Mary when she danced on the green. He who had 
gained her heart left her for another, less fair, though 
richer than Mary. From that time she became sad 
and pensive ; the rose left her cheek, and she was never 
more seen to dance round the May-pole on the green : 
her expectations were blighted ; she became quite in- 
diiferent to everything around her, and seemed to think 


of nothing but how she could best attend her mother, 
who was lame, and not long for this life. Her mother 
had begged a black kitten from some boys who were 
going to drown it, and in her last illness she told Mary- 
to be kind to it for her sake. 

When age and want had destroyed the symmetry of 
Mary's fine form, the village began to consider her as 
one who had dealings with spirits ; her eat confirmed 
the suspicion. If a cow died, or a villager wasted away 
with an unknown complaint, Mary and her cat had it 
to answer for. Her broom sometimes served lier for a 
walking-stick ; and if ever she supported lier tottering 
frame with it as far as the May-pole, where once, in 
youthful bloom and beauty, she had attracted the eyes 
of all, the boys would surround her and make sport of 
her, while her cat had neither friend nor safety beyond 
tlie cottage wall. Nobody considered it cruel or un- 
charitable to torment a witch ; and it is probable, long 
before this, that cruelty, old age, and want have worn 
her out, and that both poor Mary and her cat have 
ceased to be. 

Would you wish to pursue the different species of 
game, well stored and boundless is your range in 
Demerara. Here no one dogs you, and afterwards 
clandestinely inquires if you have a hundred a year in 
land to entitle you to enjoy such patrician sport. Here 
uo saucy intruder asks if you have taken out a licence^ 


by virtue of which you are allowed to kill the birds 
which have bred upon your own property. Here 

*' You are as free as when God first made man, 
Ere the vile laws of sendtude began, 
And wild in woods the noble savage ran." 

Before the morning's dawn you hear a noise in the 
forest, which sounds like " duraquaura " often repeated. 
This is the partridge, a little smaller, and differing 
somewhat in colour from the English partridge ; it 
lives entirely in the forest, and probably the young 
brood very soon leave their parents, as you never flush 
more than two birds in the same place, and in general 
only one. 

About the same hour, and sometimes even at mid- 
night, you hear two species of maam. or tinamou, send 
forth their long and plaintive whistle from the depth 
of the forest. The flesh of lio'h is delicious. The 
largest is plumper, and almost equals in size the black 
cock of Northumberland. The quail is said to be here, 
though rare. 

The hannaquoi, which some have compared to the 
pheasant, though with little reason, is very common. 

Here are also two species of the powise, or hocco, 
and two of the small wild turkeys called maroudi ; 
they feed on the ripe fruits of the forest, and are 
found in all directions in these extensive wilds. You 


will admire the horned screamer as a stately and 
majestic bird : he is almost the size of the turkey 
cock; on his head is a long slender horn, and each 
wing is armed with a strong, sharp, triangular spur, 
an inch long. 

Sometimes you will fall in with flocks of two or 
three hundred waracabas, or trumpeters, called so 
from the singular noise they produce. Their breast 
is adorned with beautiful changing blue and purple 
feathers ; their head and neck like velvet ; their wings 
and back grey, and belly black. They run with great 
swiftness, and, when domesticated, attend their master 
in his walks with as much apparent aii'ection as his 
dog. They have no spurs, but still, such is their high 
spirit and activity, that they browbeat every dunghill 
fowl in the yard, and force the Guinea birds, dogs, and 
turkeys to own their superiority. 

If, kind and gentle reader, thou shouldst ever visit 
these regions with an intention to examine their pro- 
ductions, perhaps the few observations contained in 
these Wanderings may be of service to thee ; excuse 
their brevity ; more coidd have been written, and each 
bird more particularly described, but it would have 
' een pressing too hard upon thy time and patience. 

Soon after arriving in these parts, thoi wilt find 
that the species here enumerated are only as a handful 
from a well-stored granary. Nothing has been said 


of file eagles, the falcons, the iiawks, and shrikes ; 
nothing of the different species of vultures, the king 
of which is very handsome, and seems to be the only 
bird which claims regal honours from a surrounding 
tribe. It is a fact beyond all dispute, that when the 
scent of carrion has drawn together hundreds of the 
common vultures, they all retire from the carcase as 
soon as the king of the vultures makes his appearance. 
When liis majesty has satisfied the cravings of his 
royal stomach with the choicest bits from the most 
stinking and corrupted parts, he generally retires to a 
neighbouring tree, and then the common vultures return 
in crowds to gobble down his leavings. The Indians, 
as well as the whites, have observed this, for when one 
of them, who has learned a little English, sees the 
king, and wishes you to have a proper notion of the 
bird, he says, " There is the governor of the carrion 

Now, the Indians have never heard of a personage 
in Demerara higher than that of governor; and the 
colonists, through a common mistake, call the vultures 
carrion crows. Hence the Indian, in order to express 
the dominion of this bird over the common vultures, 
tells you he is governor of the carrion crows. The 
Spaniards have also observed it ; for, through all the 
Spanish Main, he is called " rey de zamuros " — king 
of the vultures. The many species of owls, too, have 


uot been uoticf d : and uo mention made of the 
Columbine tribe. The prodigious variety of water- 
fowl on the sea-shore has been but barely hinted at. 

There, and on the borders and surface of the inland 
waters, in the marshes and creeks, besides the flamingos, 
scarlet curlew, and spoonbills, already mentioned, 
will be found greenish-brown curlews, sandpipers, 
rails, coots, gulls, pelicans, jabirus, nandapoas, crabiers, 
snipes, plovers, ducks, geese, cranes, and anhingas, 
most of them in vast abundance; some frequenting* 
oidy the sea-coast, others only the interior, according 
to their different natures ; all worthy the attention of 
the naturalist, all worthy of a place in the cabinet of 
the curious. 

Should thy comprehensive genius not confine itself 
to birds alone, grand is the appearance of other objects 
all around. Thou art in a land rich in botany and 
mineralogy, rich in zoology and entomology. Anima- 
tion will glow in thy looks, and exercise will brace thy 
frame in vigour. The very time of thy absence from 
the tables of heterogeneous luxury will be profitable to 
thy stomach, perhaps already sorely drenched with 
Londo-Parisian sauces, and a new stock of health will 
bring thee an appetite to relish the wholesome food of 
the chase ; never-failing sleep will wait on thee at the 
time she comes to soothe the rest of animated nature ; 
and, ere the sun's rays appear in tlie horizon, tliou wilt 


spring from thy hammock fresh as April lark. Be 
convinced, also, that the dangers and difficulties whicli 
are generally supposed to accompany the traveller in 
his journey through distant regions, are not half so 
numerous or dreadful as they are commonly thought 
to be. 

The youth "who incautiously reels into the lobby of 
Drury Lane, after leaving the table sacred to the god 
of wine, is exposed to more certain ruin, sickness, and 
decay than he who wanders a whole year in the wilds 
of Demerara. But this will never be believed ; be- 
cause the disasters arising from dissipation are so 
common and frequent in ci"rilised life, that man be- 
comes quite habituated to them ; and sees daily vic- 
tims sink into the tomb long before their time, without 
ever once taking alarm at the causes which precipitated 
them headlong into it. 

But the dangers which a traveller exposes himseK 
to in foreign parts are novel, out-of-the-way things to 
a man at home. Tlie remotest apprehension of meet- 
ing a tremendous tiger, of being carried off by a flying 
dragon, or having his bones picked by a famished 
cannibal — oh, that makes him shudder. It sounds in 
his ears like the bursting of a bomb-shell. Thank 
Heaven, he is safe by his own fireside ! 

Prudence and resolution ought to be the traveller's 
constant companions. The first will cause liim to 


avoid a number of snares which he will find in tlie 
path as he journeys on ; and the second will always 
lend a hand to assist him, if he has unavoidably got 
entangled in them. The little distinctions which have 
been shown him at his own home ought to be for- 
gotten when he travels over the world at large ; for 
strangers know nothing of his former merits, and it 
is necessary that they should witness them before they 
IDay him the tribute which he was wont to receive 
within his own doors. Thus, to be kind and affable to 
those we meet, to mix in their amusements, to pay a 
compliment or two if> their manners and customs, to 
respect their elders, to give a little to their distressed 
and needy, and to feel, as it were, at home amongst 
them, is the sure way to enable you to pass merrily on, 
and to find other comforts as sweet and palatable as 
those which you were accustomed to partake of 
amongst your friends and acquaintance in your own 
native land. 

We will now ascend in fancy on Icarian wing, and 
take a view of Guiana in general. See an immense 
plain, betwixt two of the largest rivers in the world, 
level as a bowling-green, save at Cayenne, and covered 
with trees along the coast quite to the Atlantic wave, 
except where the plantations make a little vacancy 
amongst the foliage. 

Though nearly in the cen<re of the torrid zone, the 


sun's rays are not so intolerable as might be imagined, 
on account of the perpetual verdure and refreshing 
north-east breeze. See what numbers of broad and 
rapid rivers intersect it in their journey to the ocean, 
and that not a stone or a pebble is to be found on their 
banks, or in any part of the country, till your eye 
catches the hills in the interior. How beautiful and 
magnificent are the lakes in the heart of the forests, 
and how charming the forests themselves, for miles 
after miles on each side of the rivers ! How extensive 
appear the savannas, or natural meadows, teeming 
with innumerable herds of cattle, where the Portuguese 
and Spaniards are settled, but desert as Sahara where 
the English and Dutch claim dominion. How gradu- 
ally the face of the country rises ! See the sand-hills 
all clothed in wood first emerging from the level, then 
hills a little higher, ragged with bold and craggy 
rocks, peeping out from amongst the most luxuriant 
timber. Then come plains, and dells, and far-extending 
valleys, arrayed in richest foliage ; and beyond them, 
mountains piled on mountains, some bearing prodigious 
forests, others of bleak and barren aspect. Thus your 
eye wanders on, over scenes of varied loveliness and 
grandeur, till it rests on the stupendous pinnacles of 
the long-continued Cordilleras de los Andes, which 
rise in towering majesty, and command all America. 
How fertile must the lowlands he. from the accumu- 


latiou of fallen leaves and trees for centuries. How 
propitious the swamps and slimy beds of the rivers, 
heated by a downward sun, to the amazing growth of 
alligators, serpents, and innumerable insects. How 
inviting the forests to the feathered tribes, where you 
see buds, blossoms, green and ripe fruit, full-grown 
and fading leaves, all on the same tree. How secure 
the wild beasts may rove in endless mazes. Perhaps 
those mountains, too, which appear so bleak and naked, 
as if quite neglected, are, like Potosi, full of precious 

Let us now return the pinions we borrowed from 
Icarus, and prepare to bid farewell to the wilds. The 
time allotted to these Wanderings is drawing fast to a 
close. Every day for the last six months has beeA 
employed in paying close attention to natural history 
in the forests of Demerara. Above two hundred 
specimens of the finest birds have been collected, and 
a pretty just knowledge formed of their haunts and 
economy. From the time of leaving England, in 
March, 1816, to the present day, nothing has inter- 
vened to arrest a fine flow of health, saving a quartan 
ague, which did not tarry, but fled as suddenly as it 

And now I take leave of thee, kind and gentle 
reader. The new mode of preserving birds, heretofore 
promised thee, shall not be forgotten. The plan is 


already formed in imagination, and can be penned down 
during the passage across the Atlantic. If the few 
remarks in these Wanderings shall have any weight 
in inciting thee to sally forth and explore the vast and 
well-stored regions of Demerara, I have gained my 
end. Adieu. 

Charles Waterton. 
April 6, 1817. 

Printed by Cassell & Coiiii>any, Limited, La Belle Sauvage, London, K.C. 


In Wfekly Volumes, price 3d. ; or in Cloth, 6d. 


Edited by HENRY MO R LEY, LL.D. 

List of Second Years Vohones, now in course of publication, 

53. Tlie Christian Tear John Keble. 

54. Wanderings in South America •• .. Charles Waterton. 

55. The Life of Lord Herbert of Cherbury. 

56. The Hunchback, and The Love-Chase • • J. Sheridan Knowles. 

57. Crotchet Castle .. .. Thomas Love Peacock. 

58. Lives of Pericles, Pabius Maximus, &c. . Plutarch. 

59. Lays of Ancient Rome, &c. . . • • . . Lord Macaulay. 

60. Sermons on Evil-Speaking I.-aac Barrow, D.D. 

61. The Diary of Samuel Pepys.— 1663— 1664. 

62. The Tempest Wm. Shakespeare. 

63. Rosalind Thomas Lodge. 

64. Isaac Bickerstaff ,, Steele and Addison. 

65. G-ebir, and Count Julian W. S. Landor. 

66 The Earl of Chatham Lord Macaulay. 

67. The Discovery of Guiana, &c .. .. Sir Walter Raleigh. 

The next Volume will be 

The Natural History of Selbome.— Vol. I. 

By The Rev. Gilbert White. 

*** For list 0/ the first years volumes of Cassell's NATIONAL 
Library, see adveyiisetneni pages at end oj this book. 






The Journal of the Second Voyage thereto. 









Sir Walter Kaleigh or Rawleigh, was born in 
1552. in the Manor House of Hayes Barton, about 
three miles from Budleigh Salterton, in Devon- 
shire. He went at fourteen to Oxford, as a Com- 
moner of Oriel ; and before he was eighteen he 
had taken arms in France as a volunteer in the 
ranks of the Huguenots. Walter Raleigh, the 
elder, was married three times, and Walter 
Raleigh, the younger, was his son by the third 
wife. Her maiden name was Champernon, but 
when he married her, she was widow of Otto Gil- 
bert, with three sons. One of them was. Humphrey 
Gilbert, whose name is associated with that of his 
ha-lf -brother Walter Raleigh in the history of Eng- 
lish adventures by sea. 

From France, where he had fought in the battles 
of Jarnac and Montcontour, young Walter Raleigh 
returned to England, studied law for a short time 
in the Middle Temple, and wrote a poem of com- 
pliment prefixed, in 1576, to Gascoigne's "Steel 
Glass;" but in 1578 he fought under Sir John 
Norris in the Low Countries. Then he was off on 
adventure by sea with his half-brother Humphrey 
Gilbert ; and in 1580 he was a captain with the Eng- 
lish troops in Ireland, where he first met Edmund 
Spenser. Spenser had come to Ireland a few 


months before as secretary to the Lord Deputy, 
Arthur Lord Grey of Wilton. Raleigh and 
Spenser, who were then young men of about eight- 
and-twenty, became afterwards strong friends ; for 
Raleigh also, vigorous man of action, was a poet 
and a good one, and Spenser, foremost of the true 
Elizabethan poets, took not less interest than Mil- 
ton in the vital action of his time. 

In December, 1581, Raleigh was sent from Ire- 
land to London with despatches for the Queen. 
In February, 1582, he went \vith Leicester to Ant- 
werp. In the following April he had a new 
appointment as a Captain in Ireland, because as 
the Queen's warrant ran, " Our pleasure is to have 
our servant Walter Rawley trained some time 
longer in that our realm for his better experience 
in martial affairs, and for the especial care that 
we have to do him good, in respect of his kindred 
that have served us, some of them near about our per- 
son." But his office was by the same warrant to be 
for a while committed to a deputy, because he had 
•' for some considerations " leave to stay in England. 

It was at this time that Raleigh's character and 
his rare personal accomplishments began to raise 
him high in the Queen's favour. To this time 
belongs the doubtful story of the cloak gallantly 
spread over the wet shore at Greenwich for the 
Queen to walk upon. He was thirty years old, 
with six feet of a handsome body richly dressed — 
a Flemish Jesuit wrote of Raleigh, when in height 
of favour, that his mere shoes were, for the jewels 
in them, worth 6,600 gold pieces — a handsome 
face with ])lenty of dark hair, speech witty and 


bold, proud bearing, fiery energy ; a man of in- 
tense vigour in action, who could pay her Majesty 
the happiest compliments, and sing her praise as 
" Cynthia " with sense as well as music in his verse. 

In the summer of 1583, Raleigh's brother-in- 
law, Humphrey Gilbert, having found others to 
join money in the adventure, started on a second 
expedition. Raleigh contributed to it £2,000 for 
the equipment of a ship, "The Ark Raleigh," but 
the Queen would not allow him to sail in it. The 
expedition was unfortunate. Gilbert was drowned 
in the wreck of his own vessel, crying to his com- 
rades, " Be of good heart, my friends, we are as 
near Heaven by sea as by land ! " 

Sir Humphrey Gilbert's letters patent were con- 
tinued by the Queen in JVIarch, 1584, to Walter 
Raleigh, who sent out, in April, Captains Barlow 
and Amadas in two vessels, to explore the coast of 
America from Florida northward, and report upon, 
any region he found fit for colonising. They 
came back in September with an excellent account 
of the lands. Her Majesty then named them, as- 
a maiden queen, Virginia. The Queen's age was, 
at that time, fiftv-one. Her favour to Raleigh 
was due to his merit, to his bold spirit of enter- 
prise, and to the large expense he was incurring 
for the establishment of colonies in the New 
World that might enable England to draw, like 
Spain, new strength from beyond the seas^ 
Raleigh's undertakings put him to great cost, and 
the Queen freely supplied money. In March* 
1584, in 1585, in August, 1587, in May, 1589, she 
gave him grants of a licence to export woollen 


broadcloths, on payment of reserve rent to herself, 
a licence which was worth £4,000 a year. In 
1584 she also granted him the " Farm of Wines," 
which he sub-let for £700 a year. In 1585 he 
was knighted. In July, 1585, he was made 
successor to a deceased Earl of Bedford, in the 
office of Lord Warden of the Stannaries. In Sep- 
tember, 1585, he was made Lieutenant of Corn- 
wall, and soon afterwards Vice-Admiral of Corn- 
wall and Devon. In 1586 he received a grant of 
12,000 acres of forfeited land in Ireland. In 1587 
he succeeded Sir Christopher Hatton as Captain of 
the Queen's Guard. This was an unpaid office of 
honour about the court, but in the same year the 
Queen granted to Raleigh all the estates. and pro- 
perty that fell to the crown by the attainder of 
Anthony Babington for conspiring to eftect the 
murder of Elizabeth and to set Mary on the throne. 
Tills enriched Raleigh with manors and lands in 
three counties, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire^ Notting- 
hamshire, besides the little patrimony that he 
had in Devonshire. 

The rise in substantial favour went side by side 
Nvith Raleigh's work for the colonising of Virginia. 
In the spring of 1585 he equipped a fleet of seven 
vessels, in charge of his cousin, Sir Richard Gren- 
ville, to found a colony of which Ralph Lane, 
joined in the charge, was to be governor. Lane 
was left with 105 colonists on the island of 
Roanoake. In 1586 they were brought back, 
rescued by Drake, after they had ruined themselves 
by ill-treatment of the natives. They brought 
back with them tobacco, which was then first 


introduced into England. Thomas Hariot, one of 
their number, published in 1588, " A Brief and 
True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia," 
in which he described the way of smoking the 
herb which they call appawoc, but the Spaniards 
tabacco. " They used to take the fume or smoke 
thereof by sucking it through pipes made of clay 
into their stomach and head." In May, 1587, 
Raleigh sent out another colony of a hundred and 
fifty householders under Captain John White, 
again to fail. Between 1587 and 1602 Raleigh 
fitted out, at his own charges, no fewer than five 
Virginia expeditions, and at the very last he wrote 
of the land across the Atlantic, " I shall yet see it 
a great nation." 

Meanwhile he was at work in other ways. He 
fitted out and despatched privateers that brought 
home from the high seas wealth of Spain. He 
endeavoured to turn famine-stricken wildernesses 
in Cork, Waterford, and Tipperary into regions of 
prosperous industry. In 1588 Raleigh's ship was 
lost in pursuit of the Spaniards after discomfiture 
of the Armada. In 1589 he was in Ireland 
making the first plantation of potatoes about his 
house at Youghal, and in friendly intercourse with 
Spenser, whom he brought to coui-t in 1590, to pre- 
sent to Elizabeth the first three books of his Faerie 
Queene, which were then published in London. 

In 1592 Raleigh fell into displeasure with 
Elizabeth about his marriage with Elizabeth 
Throgmorton, one of her maids of honour. Soon 
afterwards he planned that expedition to Guiana 
which this volume describes. Tempted by Spanish 


tales of El Dorado, he sailed in February, 1595, 
and published the account of his adventures after 
his return. 

With all his force of character there was a 
proud reserve in Raleigh that turned many 
against him, and decreased the number of his 
friends. There was a faction bitterly op^wsed to 
him, by which King James of Scotland was made 
to regard him as a personal enemy. When James 
VI. of Scotland became James I. of England, 
Raleigh fell into his enemies' hands. Within the 
year, Raleigh was tried at Winchester on a false 
charge of conspiring to place Arabella Stuart on 
the throne ; was sentenced to death, and reprieved 
without any annullin2f of the sentence. During 
the next twelve years he was a prisoner in the 
Tower, where he wrote the great fragment of his 
" History of the World ; " published in 1614 as a 
large folio. Its record reached only to the second 
Macedonian War. In 1616, — the year of Shakes- 
peare's death, — Raleigh obtained release by inspir- 
ing hope in the king of gold from El Dorado. He 
was provided with a patent for establishing a settle- 
ment in Guiana, and sent on his second voyage. 
The expedition failed. Raleigh returned in 1618, 
having lost his eldest son in an attack on the new 
Spanish settlement of St. Thomas ; and on the 
29th of October, 1618, King James obliged the 
King of Spain by having the fifteen year old sen- 
tence carried out. Sir Walter Raleigh thus died 
on the scaffold at the age of sixty-six. This close 
of his story gives special interest to his own re- 
cord of his expeditions to Guiana. H. M. 

The Discovery of Guiana. 

On Thursday, the 6th of February, in the year 
1595, we departed England, and the Sunday 
following had sight of the North Cape of Spain, 
the wind for the most part continuing prosperous ] 
we passed in sight of tlie Burlings and the rock, 
and so onw^ards for the Canaries, and fell in with 
Fuerte Ventura the 17th of the same month, 
where we spent two or three days, and relieved our 
comi)anies with some fresh meat. From thence we 
coasted by the Grand Canaria, and so to Teneritfe, 
and stayed there for the LiorCs Whelp, your lord- 
ship's ship, and for Captain Amys Preston and the 
rest ; but when after seven or eight days we found 
them not, we departed, and directed our course for 
Trinidad with mine own ship, and a small bark of 
Captain Cross's only (for we had before lost siglit of 
a small gallego on the coast of Spain, which came 
with us from Plymouth) : we arrived at Trinidad 


the 2 2nd of March, casting anchor at Point Curiapan, 
which the Spaniards call Punto de Gallo, which is 
situate in eia^ht decrees or thereabouts : we abode 
there four or five days, and in all that time we 
came not to the speech of any Indian or Spaniard ; 
on the coast we saw a fire, as we sailed from the 
point Carao towards Curiapan, but for fear of the 
Spaniards, none durst come to speak with us. I 
myself coasted it in my barge close aboard the 
shore, and landed in every cove, the better to know 
the island, while the ships kept the channel. From 
Curiapan, after a few days, we turned up north-east, 
to recover that place v/hich the Spaniards call 
Puerto de los Hispanioles, and the inhabitants Con- 
querabia, and as before (re-victualling my barge), 
I left the ships and kept by the shore, the better 
to come to speech with some of the inhabitants, 
and also to understand the rivers, watering-places, 
and ports of the island, which (as it is rudely done) 
my purpose is to send your lordship after a few 
-Tia}'«. From Curiapan I came to a port and seat 
of Indians called Parico, where we found a fresh 
water river, but saw no people. From thence I 
rowed to another port, called by the naturals 
Piche, and by the Spaniards Tierra de Brea. In 


the way between both were divers little brooks of 
fresh water, and one salt river that had store of 
oysters upon the branches of the trees, and were 
very salt and well tasted. All their oysters grew 
upon those boughs and sprays, and not on the 
ground ; the like is commonly seen in the West 
Indies and elsewhere. This tree is described by 
Andrew Theuet in his French " Antartique," and 
the form figured in his book as a plant very strange, 
and by Pliny in his twelfth book of his " Natural 
History." But in this island, as also in Guiana, 
there are very many of them. 

At this point, called Tierra de Brea, or Piche, 
there is that abundance of stone pitch, that all the 
ships of the world may therewith be laden from 
thence, and we made trial of it in trimming our 
ships to be most excellent good, and melteth not 
with the sun as the pitch of Norway, and therefore 
for ships trading the south parts very profitable. 
From hence we went to the mountain foot called 
Annaperima, and so passing the river Carone, on 
which the Spanish city was seated, we met with 
our ships at Puerto de los Hispanioles, or Con- 

The island of Trinidad hath the form of a 


sheep-hook, and is but narrow ; the north part is 
very mountainous ; the soil is very excellent, and 
will bear sugar, ginger, or any other commodity 
that the Indies yield. It hath store of deer, wild 
porks, fruits, fish, and fowl. It hath also for bread 
sufficient maize, cassavi, and of those roots and 
fruits which are common everywhere in the West 
Indies. It hath divers beasts, which the Indies 
have not ; the Spaniards confessed that they found 
grains of gold in some of the rivers, but they, 
having a purpose to enter Guiana (the magazine of 
all rich metals), cared not to spend time in the search 
thereof any farther. This island is called by the 
people thereof Cairi, and in it are divers nations : 
those about Parico are called laio ; those at Punto 
Carao are of the Arwacas, and between Carao and 
Curiapan they are called Salvaios ; between Carao 
and Punto Galera are the Nepoios, and those about 
the Spanish city term themselves Carinepagotos. 
Of the rest of the nations, and of other ports and 
rivers, I leave to speak here, being impertinent to 
my purpose, and mean to describe them as they 
are situate in the particular plot and description of 
the island, three parts whereof I coasted with my 
barge that I might the better describe it. 


Meeting with the ships at Puerto de los 
Hispanioles, we found at the landing place a 
company of Spaniards who kept a guard at the 
descent, and they offering a sign of peace, I sent 
Captain Whiddon to speak with them, whom 
afterward, to my great grief, I left buried in the 
said island after my return from Guiana, being a 
man most honest and valiant. The Spaniards 
seemed to be desirous to trade with us, and to enter 
into terms of peace, more for doubt of their own 
strength than for ought else, and in the end, upon 
pledge, some of them came aboard ; the same even- 
ing there stole also aboard us in a small canoe two 
Indians, the one of them being a cazique, or lord 
of people called Cantyman, who had the year 
before been with Captain Whiddon, and was of his 
acquaintance. By this Cantyman we understood 
what strength the Spaniards had, how far it was 
to their city, and of Don Anthonio de Berreo, the 
governor, who was said to be slain in his second 
attempt of Guiana, but was not. 

While we remained at Puerto de los Hispanioles 
some Spaniards came aboard us to buy linen of the 
company, and such other things as they wanted, 
and also to view our ships and company, all which 


I entertained kindly and feasted after our manner ; 
by means whereof I learned of one and another as 
much of the estate of Guiana as I could, or as they 
knew, for those poor soldiers having been many 
years without wine, a few draughts made them 
merry, in which mood they vaunted of Guiana and 
of the riches thereof, and all what they knew of 
the ways and passages, myself seeming to purpose 
nothing less than the entrance or discovery thereof, 
but bred in them an opinion that I was bound 
only for the relief of those English which I had 
planted in Virginia, whereof the bruit was come 
among them, which I had performed in my return 
if extremity of weather had not forced me from 
the said coast. 

1 found occasions for staying in this place for 
two causes : the one was to be revenged of Berreo, 
who the year before betrayed eight of Captain 
Whiddon's men, and took them while he departed 
from them to seek the E Bonaventure, which 
arrived at Trinidad the day before from the East 
Indies ; in whose absence Berreo sent a canoe 
aboard the pinnace only with Indians and dogs, in- 
viting the company to go with them into the woods 
to kill a deer, who, like wise men, in the absence of 


their captain followed the Indians, but were no 
sooner one arquebuse shot from the shore, but 
Berreo's soldiers lying in ambush had them all, 
notwithstanding that he had given his word to 
Captain Whiddon that they should take water 
and wood safely ; the other cause of my stay was, 
for that by discourse with the Spaniards I daily 
learned more and more of Guiana, of the rivers 
and passages, and of the enterprise of Berreo, by 
M'hat means or fault he failed, and how he meant 
to prosecute the same. 

While we thus spent the time I was assured by 
another cazique of the north side of the island 
that Berreo had sent to Marguerita and to Cumana 
for soldiers, meaning to have given me a cassado 
at parting, if it had been possible. For although 
he had given order through all the island that no 
Indian should come aboard to trade with me upon 
pain of hanging and quartering (having executed 
two of them for the same, which I afterwards 
found), yet every night there came some with most 
lamentable complaints of his cruelty : how he had 
divided the island, and given to every soldier a 
part ; that he made the ancient Caziqui, which were 
lords of the country, to be their slaves, that he 


kept tliein in chains, and dropped their naked 
bodies with burning bacon, and such other tor- 
ments, which I found afterwards to be true ; 
for in the city, after I entered the same, there 
were five of the lords, or little kings (which 
they call Caziqui in the West Indies), in one chain 
almost dead of famine, and wasted with torments : 
these are called in their own language Acarewana, 
and now of late, since English, French, and Spanish 
are come among them, they call themselves cap- 
tains, because they perceive that the chief est of every . 
ship is called by that name. Those five captains 
in the chain were called Wannawanare, Carroaori, 
Maquarima, Tarroopanama, and Aterima. So as 
both to be revenged of the former wrong, as also 
considering that to enter Guiana by small boats, to 
depart 400 or 500 miles from my ships, and to 
leave a garrison in my back interested in the same 
enterprise, who also daily expected supplies out of 
Spain, I should have savoured very much of the 
ass ; and therefore, taking a time of most advantage, 
I set upon the Gorjy du guard in the evening, and 
having put them to the sword, sent Captain Cal- 
feild onwards with sixty soldiers, and myself 
followed with forty more, and so took their new 


city, wliicli they called St. Joseph, by break of day ; 
they abode not any fight after a few shot, and all 
being dismissed but only Berreo and his com- 
panion, I brought them with me aboard, and at 
the instance of the Indians, I set their new city of 
St. Joseph on 

The same day arrived Captain George Gifford 
with your lordship's ship, and Captain Keymis, 
whom I lost on the coast of Spain, with the gallego, 
and in them divers gentlemen, and others, which 
to our little army was a great comfort and supply. 

We then hastened away towards our purposed 
discovery, and first I called all the captains of the 
island together that were enemies to the Sjianiards, 
for there were some which Berreo had brought out 
of other countries, and planted there to eat out 
and waste those that were natural of the place ; and 
by my Indian interpreter, which I carried out of 
England, I made them understand that I was the 
servant of a queen, who was the great Cazique 
of the north, and a virgin, and had more Caziqui 
under her than there were trees in their island ; 
that she was an enemy to the Castellani in respect 
of their tyranny and oppression, and that she de- 
livered all such nations about her as were by them 


oppressed, and having freed all the coast of the 
northern world from their servitude, had sent me 
to free them also, and withal to defend the country 
of Guiana from their invasion and conquest. I 
showed them her Majesty's picture, which they so 
admii-ed and honoured as it had been easy to have 
brought them idolatrous thereof. 

The like and a more large discourse I made to 
the rest of the nations, both in my passing to 
Guiana and to those of the borders, so as in that 
part of the world her Majesty is very famous and 
admirable, whom they now call " Ezrabeta Cassi- 
puna Aquerewana," which is as much as " Eliza- 
beth, the great princess, or greatest commander." 
This done, we left Puerto de los Hispanioles, and 
returned to Curiapan, and having Berreo my 
prisoner, I gathered from him as much of Guiana 
as he knew. 

This Berreo is a gentleman, well descended, and 
had long served the Spanish king in Milan, Naples, 
the Low Countries, and elsewhere, very valiant 
and liberal, and a gentleman of great assuredness 
and of a great heart. I used him according to his 
estate and worth in all things I could, according to 
the small means I had. 


I sent Captain Whiddon tlie year before to get 
what knowledge he could of Guiana, and the end 
of my journey at this time was to discover and 
enter the same, but my intelligence was far from 
truth, for the country is situate above six hundred 
English miles further from the sea than I was 
made believe it had been, which afterward under- 
standing to be true by Berreo, I kept it from the 
knowledge of my company, w:ho else would never 
have been brought to attempt the same ; of which 
six hundred miles I passed four hundred, leaving 
my ships so far from me at anchor in the sea, 
which was more of desire to perform that discovery 
than of reason, especially having such poor and 
weak vessels to transport ourselves in ; for in the 
bottom of an old gallego which I caused to be 
fashioned like a galley, and in one barge, two 
wherries, and a ship's boat of the Lion^s Whdf), we 
carried one hundred persons and their victuals for 
a month in the same, being all driven to lie in the 
rain and weather in the open air, in the burning 
sun, and upon the hard boards, and to dress our 
meat and to carry all manner of furniture in them, 
wherewith they were so pestered and unsavoury, 
that what with victuals being most fisli, with the 


wet clothes of so many men thrust together, and 
the heat of the sun, I will undertake there was 
never any prison in England that could be found 
more unsavoury and loathsome, especially to 
myself, who had for many years before been dieted 
and cared for in a sort far differino:. 

If Captain Preston had not been persuaded that 
he should have come too late to Trinidad to have 
found us there (for the month was expired which 
I promised to tarry for him there ere he could 
recover the coast of Spain), but that it had pleased 
God he might have joined with us, and that we 
had entered the country but some ten days sooner, 
ere the rivers were overflown, we had adventured 
either to have gone to the great city of Manoa, or 
at least taken so many of the other cities and 
towns nearer at hand as would have made a royal 
return. But it pleased not God so much to favour 
me at this time ; if it shall be my lot to prosecute 
the same, I shall willingly spend my life therein ; 
and if any else shall be enabled thereunto, and 
conquer the same, I assure him thus much, he 
shall perform more "than ever was done in Mexico 
by Cortez, or in Peru by Pizarro, whereof the one 
conquered the Empire of Montezuma, the other of 


Guascar and Atabalipa, and whatsoever prince 
shall possess it, that prince shall be lord of more 
gold and of a more beautiful empire, and of more 
cities and people, than either the king of Spain or 
the great Turk. 

But because there may arise many doubts, and 
how this empire of Guiana is become so populous, 
and adorned with so many great cities, towns, 
temples, and treasures, I thought good to make it 
known that the emperor now reigning is descended 
from those magnificent princes of Peru, of whose 
large territories, of whose policies, conquests, 
edifices, and riches, Pedro de Cieza, Francisco 
Lopez, and others, have written large discourses ; 
for when Francisco Pizarro, Diego Almagro, and 
others, conquered the said empire of Peru, and had 
put to death Atabalipa, son to Guaynacapa, which 
Atabalipa had formerly caused his eldest brother 
Guascar to be slain, one of the younger sons of 
Guaynacapa fled out of Peru, and took with him 
many thousands of those soldiers of the empire 
called Oreiones, and with those and many 
others which followed him ho vanquished all 
that tract and valley of America which is 
situate between the sfreat rivers of Amazons 


and Baraquona, otherwise called Orinoco and 

The empire of Guiana is directly east from Peru 
towards the sea, and lieth under the equinoctial 
line, and it hath more abundance of gold than any 
part of Peru, and as many or more great cities 
than ever Peru had when it flourished most. It is 
governed by the same laws, and the emperor and 
people observe the same religion and the same 
form and policies in government as was used in 
Peru, not differing in any part ; and as I have 
been assured by such of the Spaniards as have 
seen Manoa, the imperial city of Guiana, which 
the Spaniards call El Dorado, that for the great- 
ness, for the riches, and for the excellent seat, it 
far exceedeth any of the world, at least of so much 
of the world as is known to the Spanish nation ; 
it is founded upon a lake of salt water of two hun- 
dred leagues long, like unto mare caspiu. And if 
we compare it to that of Peru, and but read the 
report of Francisco Lopez and others, it will seem 
more than credible ; and because we may judge of 
the one by the other, I thought good to insert part 
of the 120th chapter of Lopez, in his "General 
History of the Indies," wherein he describeth the 


court and magnificence of Guaynacapa, ancestor to 
the Emperor of Guiana, whose very words are 
these : — " Todo el servicio de su casa, mesa, j 
cozina era de oro y de plata, y quando menos 
de plata y cobre por mas rezio. Tenia en su 
recamara estatuas huecas de oro que parecian 
gigantes, y las figuras al propio y tamanon de 
quantos animales, aues, arboles, y yeruas produze 
la tierra, y de quantos peces cria la mar y aguas 
de sus reynos. Tenia assi mesmo sogas, cos tales, 
cestas, y troxes de oro y plata, rimeros de palos de 
oro, que pareciessen lenna raiada para quemar. 
En fin no auia cosa en su tierra, que no la tuuiesse 
de oro contrahecha : y aun dizen, que tenian los 
Ingas un vergel en una isla cerca de la Puna, donde 
se yuan a holgar quando querian mar, que tenia 
la ortaliza, las flores, y arboles de oro y j)lata, 
invencion y grandeza hasta entonces nunca vista. 
Allende de todo esto tenia infinitissima cantidad de 
plata y oro por labrar en el Cuzco, que se perdio 
por la muerte de Guascar, ca los Indios lo escon- 
dieron, viendo que los Espaiioles se lo tomauan y 
embriauan a Espaiia." That is : •' All the vessels 
of his home, table, and kitchen were of gold and 
silver, and the meanest of silver and copper for 


strength and hardness of the metal. He had in 
his wardrobe hollow statues of gold which seemed 
giants, and the figures in proportion and bigness 
of all the beasts, birds, trees, and herbs that the 
earth bringeth forth, and of all the fishes that the 
sea or waters of his kingdom breedeth. He had 
also ropes, budgets, chests, and troughs of gold and 
silver, heaps of billets of gold, that seemed wood 
marked out to bum. Finally, there was nothing 
in his country whereof he had not the counterfeit 
in gold. Yea, and they say the Ingas had a 
garden of pleasure in an island near Puna, where 
they went to recreate themselves when they 
would take the air of the sea, which had all kind 
of garden herbs, flowers, and trees of gold and 
silver, an invention and magnificence till then 
never seen. Besides all this, he had an infinite 
quantity of silver and gold un wrought in Cuzco, 
which was lost by the death of Guascar, for the 
Indians hid it, seeing that the Spaniards took it 
and sent it into Spain." 

And in the 117th chapter, Francisco Pizarro 
caused the gold and silver of Atabalipa to be 
weighed after he had taken it, which Lopez setteth 
down in these words following : — 


" Hallaron cinquenta y dos mil marcos de buena 
plata, y lui millon y trezientos y veinte y seys mil, 
y quinientos pesos de oro," which is : "They found 
fifty and two thousand marks of good silver, and 
one million, and three hundred twenty and six 
thousand and five hundred pesoes of gold." 

Now, although these reports may seem strange, 
yet if we consider the many millions which are 
daily brought out of Peru into Spain, we may 
easily believe the same, for we find that by the 
abundant treasure of that country the Spanish 
king vexeth all the princes of Europe, and is be- 
come in a few years, from a poor king of Castille, 
the greatest monarch of this part of the world, 
and likely every day to increase if other princes 
forslow the good occasions offered, and suffer him 
to add this empire to the rest, which by far ex- 
ceedeth all the rest; if his gold now endanger 
us, he will then be unresistible. Such of the 
Spaniards as afterward endeavoured the conquest 
thereof (whereof there have been many, as shall 
be declared hereafter) thought that this Inga (of 
whom this emperor now living is descended) took 
his way by the river Amazons by that branch 
which is called Papamene, for by that way followed 


Orellana (by the commandment of the Marquis 
Pizarro in the yeai' 1542), whose name the river 
also beareth this day, which is also by others called 
Maranon, although Andrew Theuet doth affirm 
that between Maraiion and Amazons there are one 
hundred and twenty leagues ; but sure it is that 
those rivers have one head and beginning, and that 
Maranon which Theuet describeth is but a branch 
of the Amazons or Orellana, of which I will speak 
more in another place. It was also attempted by 
Diecfo de Ordaz, but whether before Orellana or 
after I know not ; but it is now little less than 
seventy years since that Ordaz, a knight of the 
order of St. lago, attempted the same ; and it was 
in the year 1542 that Orellana discovered the 
river Amazons; but the first that ever saw Manoa 
was Juan Martinez, master of the munition to 
Ordaz. At a port called Morequito, in Guiana, 
there lieth at this day a great anchor of Ordaz's 
ship, and this port is some three hundred miles 
within the land, upon the great River Orinoco. 

I rested at this port four days : twenty days 
after I left the ships at Curiapan. The relation 
of this Martinez (who was the first that discovered 
^Manoa), his success and end, is to be seen in the 


Chauncery of St. Juan de Puerto Rico, whereof 
Berreo had a copy, wliich appeared to be the 
greatest encouragement as well to Berreo as to 
others that formerly attempted the discovery and 
conquest. Orellano, after he failed of the dis- 
covery of Guiana by the said river of Amazons, 
passed into Spain, and there obtained a patent of 
the king for the invasion and conquest, but died 
l)y sea about the islands, and his fleet being 
severed by tempest, the action for that time pro- 
ceeded not. Diego Ordaz followed the enter- 
prise, and departed Spain with 600 soldiers and 30 
horse, who, arriving on the coast of Guiana, was 
slain in a mutiny with the most part of such as 
favoured him, as also of the rebellious part, in so 
much as his ships perished, and few or none 
returned, neither was it certainly known what 
became of the said Ordaz, until Berreo found the 
anchor of his ship in the river of Orinoco ; but 
it was supposed, and so it is written by Lopez, 
that he perished on the seas, and of other writers 
diversely conceived and reported. And hereof it 
came that Martinez entered so far within the 
land, and arrived at that city of Inga the Emperor, 
for it chanced that while Ordaz, with his army, 


rested at the port of Morequito (who was either 
the first or second that attempted Guiana), by some 
negligence, the whole store of powder provided for 
the service was set on fire, and Martinez, having 
the chief charge, was condemned by the General 
Ordaz to be executed forthwith : Martinez, being 
much favoured by the soldiers, had all the means 
possible procured for his life, but it could not be 
obtained in any other sort than this : That he 
should be sef into a canoe alone, without any 
victual, only with his arms, and so turned loose 
into the great river ; but it pleased God that the 
canoe was carried down the stream, and that cer- 
tain of the Guianians met it the same evening, 
and having not at any time seen any Christian, 
nor any man of that colour, they carried Martinez 
into the land to be wondered at, and so from town 
to town, until he came to the gi'eat city of Manoa, 
the seat and residence of Inga the Emperor. The 
Emperor, after he had beheld him, knew him to be 
a Christian (for it was not long before that his 
brethren, Guascar and Atabalipa, were vanquished 
by the Spaniards in Peru), and caused him to be 
lodged in his palace, and well entertained : he 
lived seven months in Manoa, but not suffered to 


wander into the country anywhere : he was also 
brought thither all the way blindfold, led by the 
Indians, until he came to the entrance of Manoa 
itself, and was fourteen or fifteen days in the 
})assage : he avowed at his death that he entered 
the city at noon, and then they uncovered his 
face, and that he travelled all that day till night 
through the city, and the next day from sun 
rising to sun setting, ere he came to the palace 
of Inga. After that Martinez had lived seven 
months in Manoa, and began to understand the 
language of the country, Inga asked him whether 
he desired to return into his own country or 
would willingly abide with him : but Martinez, 
not desirous to stay, obtained the favour of Inga 
to depart, with whom he sent divers Guianians to 
conduct him to the river Orinoco, all laden with 
as much gold as they could carry, which he gave 
to Martinez at his departure : but when he was 
arrived near the river's side, the borderers, which 
are called Orenocoponi, robbed him and his 
Guianians of all the treasure (the borderers being 
at that time at war with Inga, and not conquered), 
save only of two great bottles of gourds, which 
were filled with beads of gold curiously wrought. 


which those Orenocoponi thought had been no 
other thing than his drink or meat or grain for 
food with which Martinez had liberty to pass, and 
so in canoes he fell down by the river of Orinoco 
to Trinidad, and from thence to Marguerita, and 
so to St. Juan de Puerto Rico, where remaining a 
long time for passage into Spain, he died. In the 
time of his extreme sickness, and when he was 
without hope of life, receiving the sacrament at 
the hands of his confessor, he delivered these 
things, with the relation of his travels, and also 
called for his calabaza or gourds of the gold beads, 
which he gave to the Church and friars to be 
prayed for. This Martinez was he that christened 
the city of Manoa by the name of El Dorado, and 
as Berreo informed me upon this occasion. Those 
Guianians, and also the borderers, and all others in 
that tract which I have seen, are marvellous great 
drunkards, in which vice I think no nation can 
compare with them : and at the times of their 
solemn feasts, when the Emperor carouseth with 
his captains, tributaries, and governors, the man- 
ner is tlius : All those that pledge him are first 
stripped naked, and their bodies anointed all over 
with a kind of white balsam (by them called Curcai).. 


of which there is great plenty, and yet very clear, 
amongst them, and it is of all others the most 
precious, whereof we have had good experience : 
when they are anointed all over, certain servants 
of the Emperor having prepared gold made into 
fine powder, blow it through hollow canes upon 
their naked bodies, until they be all shining 
from the foot to the head, and in this sort they 
sit drinking by twenties and hundreds, and con- 
tinue in drunkenness sometimes six or seven days 
together ; the same is also confirmed by a letter 
written into Spain which was intercepted, which 
Master Robert Dudley told me he had seen. Upon 
this sight^ and for the abundance of gold which he 
saw in the city, the images of gold in their temples, 
the plates, armours, and shields of gold which they 
use in the wars, he called it El Dorado. After 
Oreliano, who was employed by Pizarro (afterwards 
Marquis Pizarro, conqueror and go'. ernor of Peru), 
and the death of Ordace and Martynes, one Pedro 
de Osua, a knight of Navarre, attempted Guiana, 
taking his way from Peru, and built his brigan- 
dines upon a river called Oia, which riseth to the 
southward of Quito, and is very great. This river 
falleth into the Amazons, by which Osua with his 
B— 67 


companies descended, and came out of that pro- 
vince which is called Mutylones ; and it seemeth 
to me that this empire is reserved for her Majesty 
and the English nation, by reason of the hard suc- 
cess which all these and other Spaniards found in 
attempting the same, whereof I will speak briefly, 
though impertinent in some sort to my purpose. 
This Pedro de Osua had among his troops a 
Biscayan called Agiri, a man meanly born, and 
bare no other office than a sergeant or alferez ; but 
after certain months, when the soldiers were 
grieved with travels and consumed with famine, 
and that no entrance could be found by the 
branches or body of the Amazons, this Agiri raised 
a mutiny, of which he made himself the head, and 
so prevailed as he put Osua to the sword, and all 
his followers, takingf on him the whole charo^e and 
commandment, with a purpose not only to make 
himself Emperor of Guiana, but also of Peru, and 
of all that side of the West Indies. He had of his 
party seven hundred soldiers^ and of those many 
promised to draw in other captains and companies 
to deliver up towns and forts in Peru, but neither 
finding by the said river any passage into Guiana, 
nor any possibility to return towards Peru by the 


same Amazons, by reason that the descent of the 
river made so great a current, he was enforced 
to disembark at the mouth of the said Ama- 
zons, which cannot be less than a thousand 
leagues from the place where they embarked : 
from thence he coasted the land till he arrived 
at Marguerita, to the north of Monipatar, which 
is at this day called Puerto de Tyranno, for 
that he there slew Don Juan de villa Andreda, 
governor of Marguerita, who was fatlier to Don 
Juan Sermiento, governor of Marguerita when Sir 
John Burgh landed there, and attempted the island. 
Agiri put to the sword all others in the island 
that refused to be of his party, and took with 
him certain Cemerones, and other desperate com- 
panions. From thence he went to Cumana, and 
there slew the governor, and dealt in all as at 
Marguerita : he spoiled all the coast of Caracas, 
and the province of Venezuela, and of Rio de 
Hache ; and as I remember, it was the same year 
that Sir John Hawkins sailed to Saint Juan de 
Lua in the Jesus of Luheck, for himself told me 
that he met with such a one upon the coast that 
rebelled, and had sailed down all the river of 
Amazons. Agiri from hence landed about Sancta 


Marta, and sacked it also, putting to death so 
many as refused to be his followers ; purposing to 
invade Nuevo reyno de Granada, and to sack 
Pampelone, Merida, Lagrita, Tunia, and the rest 
of the cities of Nuevo reyno, and from thence 
again to enter Peru. But in a fight in the said 
Nuevo I'eyno he was overthrown, and finding no 
way to escape, he first put to the sword his own 
children, foretellins: them that thev should not 
live to be defamed or upbraided by the Spaniards 
after his death, who would have termed them 
tlie children of a traitor or tyrant, and that 
since he could not make them princes, he would 
yet deliver them from shame and reproach. These 
were the ends and tragedies of Oreliano, Ordace, 
Osua, Martynes, and Agiri. 

After these followed Geronimo Ortal de Saragosa 
with 130 soldiers, who, failing his entrance by sea, 
was cast with the current on the coast of Paria, 
and peopled about S. Miguell de Neuerj. It was 
then attempted by Don Pedro de Sylva, a Portu- 
guese, of the family of Rigomes de Sylva, and by 
the favour which Rigomes had with the king he 
was set out, but he also shot wide of the mark, for 
being departed from Spain with his fleet, he 


entered by Maranon, or Amazons, where by the 
nations of the river and. by the Amazons he was 
utterly overthrown, and himself and all his army 
defeated ; only seven escaped, and of those but two 

After him came Pedro Hernandez de Serpa, and 
landed at Cumana, in the West Indies, taking his 
journey by land towards Orinoco, which may be 
some 120 leagues ; but ere he came to the borders of 
the said river he \y^as set upon by a nation of Indians 
called Wikiri, and overthrown in sort, that of 300 
soldiers, horsemen, many Indians, and negroes, 
there returned but eighteen : others affirm that he 
was defeated in the very entrance of Guiana, at the 
first civil town of the Empire, called Macureguarai. 
Captain Preston, in taking S. lago de Leon (which 
was by him and his companies very resolutely 
performed, being a great town and far within the 
land), held a gentleman prisoner, who died in his 
ship, that was one of the company of Hernandez 
de Serpa, and saved among those that escaped, 
who witnessed what opinion is held among the 
Spaniards thereabouts of the great riches of Guiana 
and El Dorado, the city of Inga. Another 
Spaniard was brought aboard me by Capcain 


Preston, who told me, in the hearing of himself 
and divers other gentlemen, that he met with 
Berreo, camp-master at Caracas, when he came 
from the borders of Guiana, and that he saw with 
him forty of most pure plates of gold curiously 
wrought, and swords of Guiana decked and inlaid 
with gold, feathers garnished with gold, and divers 
rarities, which he carried to the Spanish king. 

After Hernandez de Serpa^ it was undertaken by 
the Adelantado, Don Gonzales Cemenes de Casada, 
who was one of the chiefest in the conquest of 
Nuevo reyno, whose daughter and heir Don 
Anthonio de Berreo married : Gonzales sought the 
passage also by the river called Papamene, which 
riseth by Quito in Peru, and runneth south-east 100 
leagues, and then falleth into the Amazons, but he 
also failing the entrance, returned with the loss of 
much labour and cost ; I took one Captain George, 
a Spaniard that followed Gonzales in this enter- 
prise. Gonzales gave his daughter to Berreo, 
taking his oath and honour to follow the enterprise 
to the last of his substance and life, who since, as he 
hath sworn to me, hath spent 300,000 ducats in the 
same, and yet never could enter so far into the 
land as myself, with that poor troop, or rather a 


handful of men, being in all about 100 gentlemen, 
soldiers, rowers, boat-keepers, bojs, and of all sorts : 
neither could any of the forepast undertakers, 
nor Berreo himself, discover the country, till now 
lately by conference with an ancient king called 
Carapana he got the true light thereof; for Berreo 
came above 1,500 miles ere he understood aught, 
or could find any passage or entrance into any 
part thereof, yet he had experience of all these 
fore-named and divers others, and was persuaded of 
their errors and mistakings. Berreo sought it by 
the river Cassanar, which falleth into a great river 
called Pato; Pato falleth into Meta, and Meta into 
Baraquan, which is also called Orinoco. 

He took his journey from :N'ue\o reyno de 
Granada, where he dwelt, having the inheritance of 
Gonzales Cemenes in those parts ; he was followed 
with 700 horse; he drove with him 1,000 head of 
cattle; he had also many women, Indians, and 
slaves. How all these rivers cross and encounter, 
how the country lieth and is bordered, the passage 
of Cemenes and of Berreo, mine own discovery 
and the way that I entered, with all the rest of the 
nations and rivers, your lordship shall receive in a 
large chart or map, which I have not yet finished, 


and which I shall most humbly pray your lordship 
to secrete, and not to suffer it to pass your own 
hands ; for by a draft thereof all may be pre- 
vented by other nations. For I know it is this 
very year sought by the French, although by the 
way that they now take I fear it not much. It was 
also told me ere I departed England that YiUiers 
the Admiral, was in preparation for the planting 
of the Amazons, to which river the French have 
made divers voyages, and returned much gold and 
other rarities. I spoke with a captain of a French 
ship that came from thence, his ship riding in 
Falmouth, the same year that my ships came first 
from Virginia, 

There was another this year in Helford that also 
came from thence, and had been fourteen months 
at an anchor in the Amazons, which were both very 
rich. Although, as I am persuaded, Guiana can- 
not be entered that way, yet no doubt the trade of 
gold from thence passeth by branches of rivers into 
the river Amazons, and so it doth on every 
hand far from the country itself, for those Indians 
of Trinidad have plates of gold from Guiana, 
and those cannibals of Dominica, which dwell in the 
islands by which our ships pass yearly to the West 


Indies, also the Indians of Paria, those Indians 
called Tucaris, Chochi, Apotomios, Cumanagotos, 
and all those other nations inhabiting near about 
the mountains that run from Paria through the 
province of Venezuela, and in Maracapana, and the 
cannibals of Guanipa, the Indians called Assawai, 
Coaca, Aiai, and the rest (all which shall be de- 
scribed in my description as they are situate), have 
plates of gold of Guiana. And upon the river 
Amazons The vet writeth that the people wear 
croissants of gold, for of that form the Guianians 
most commonly make them : so as from Dominica 
to Amazons, which is above 250 leagues, all the 
chief Indians in all parts wear of those plates of 
Guiana. Undoubtedly those that trade with the 
Amazons return much gold, which (as is aforesaid) 
cometh by trade from Guiana, by some branch 
of a river that falleth from the country into the 
Amazons, and either it is by the river which 
passeth by the nations called Tisnados, or by 
Carepuna. I made inquiries amongst the most 
ancient and best travelled of the Orinocoponi, 
and I had knowledge of all the rivers between 
Orinoco and Amazons, and was very desirous to 
understand the truth of those warlike women, 


because of some it is believed, of others not : and 
though I digress from my purpose, yet I will set 
down what hath been delivered me for truth of 
those women ; and I spoke with a cazique, or lord 
of people, that told me he had been in the river, 
and beyond it also. The nations of these women 
are on the south side of the river, in the provinces 
of Topago, and their chiefest strengths and retreats 
are in the islands situated on the south side of the 
entrance, some sixty leagues within the mouth of 
the said river. The memories of the like women 
are very ancient as well in Africa as in Asia ; in 
Africa those that had Medusa for queen, others 
in Scythia, near the rivers of Tanais and Thermadon; 
we find also that Lampedo and Marthesia were 
queens of the Amazons ; in many histories they 
are verified to have been, and in divers ages and 
provinces ; but they which are not far from Guiana 
do accompany with men but once in a year, and 
for the time of one month, which I gather by their 
relation to be in April. At that time all the 
kings of the borders assemble, and the queens of 
the Amazons, and after the queens have chosen, 
the rest cast lots for their valentines. This one 
month thev feast, dance, and drink of their wines 


in abundance, and the moon being done, they all 
depart to their own provinces. If they conceive 
and be delivered of a son, they return him to the 
father, if of a daughter, they nourish it and retain 
it ; and as many as have daughters send unto the 
begetters a present, all being desirous to increase 
their own sex and kind ; but that they cut off the 
right dug of the breast I do not find to be true. 
It was further told me that if in the wars they 
took any prisoners that they used to accompany 
with those also at what time soever, but in the end 
for certain they put them to death ; for they are 
said to be very cruel and bloodthirsty, especially to 
such as offer to invade their territories. These 
Amazons have likewise great store of these plates 
of gold, which they recover by exchange chiefly 
for a kind of green stone, which the Spaniards 
call Piedras Hijadas, and we use for spleen stones, 
and for the disease of the stone we also esteem 
them : of these I saw divers in Guiana, and 
commonly every king or cazique hath one, which 
their wives for the most part wear, and they 
esteem them as great jewels. 

But to return to the enterprise of Berreo, who 
(as I have said) departed from Nuevo reyno with 


700 horse, besides the provisions above rehearsed. 
He descended by the river called Cassanar, which 
riseth in Nuevo reyno out of the mountains by 
the city of Tunia, from which mountain also 
springeth Pato, both which fall into the great 
river of Meta, and Meta riseth from a mountain 
joining to Pampelone in the same Nuevo reyno de 
Granada : these, as also Guaiare, which issueth out 
of the mountains by Timana, fall all into Baraquan, 
and are but of his heads, for at their coming to- 
gether they lose their names, and Baraquan farther 
down is also re-baptised by the name of Orinoco. 
On the other side of the city and hills of Timana 
riseth Rio Grande, which falleth into the sea by 
Santa Marta. By Cassanar first, and so into 
Meta, Berreo passed, keeping his horsemen on the 
banks, where the country served them for to march, 
and where otherwise he was driven to embark 
them in boats which he built for the purpose, 
and so came with the current down the river of 
Meta, and so into Baraquan. After he entered 
that great and mighty river, he began daily to 
lose of his companies both men and horse, for it 
is in many places violently swift, and hath forcible 
eddies, many sands, and divers islands sharp 


pointed with rocks : but after one whole year, 
journeying for the most part by river, and the 
rest by land, he grew daily to fewer numbers, for 
both by sickness, and by encountering with the 
people of those regions through which he travelled, 
his companies were much wasted, especially by 
divers encounters with the Amapaiens ; and in all 
this time he never could learn of any passage into 
Guiana, nor any news or fame thereof, until he 
came to the farther border of the said Amapaia, 
eight days' journey from the river Caroli, which 
was the farthest river that we entered. Among 
those of Amapaia, Guiana was famous, but few of 
these people accosted Berreo, or would trade 
with him the first three months of the six which 
he sojourned there. This Amapaia is also mar- 
vellously rich in gold (as both Berreo confessed, 
and those of Guiana with whom I had most con- 
ference), and is situated upon Orinoco also. In 
this country Berreo lost sixty of his best soldiers, 
and most of all his horse that remained of his former 
years' travel; but in the end, after divers encounters 
with those nations, they grew to peace, and they 
presented Berreo with ten images of fine gold 
among divers other plates and croissants, which, as 


he sware to me and divers other gentlemen, were 
so curiously wrought as he had not seen the like 
either in Italy, Spain, or the Low Countries ; and 
he was resolved that when they came to the hands 
of the Spanish king, to whom he had sent them 
by his camp- master, they would appear very ad- 
mirable, especially being wrought by such a nation 
as had no iron instrument at all, nor any of those 
helps which our goldsmiths have to work withal. 
The j)articular name of the people in Amapaia 
which gave him these pieces are called Anebas, 
and the river of Orinoco at that place is above 
twelve English miles broad, which may be from its 
outfall into the sea 700 or 800 miles. 

Tliis province of Amapaia is a very low and 
marshy ground near the river, and by reason of the 
red w^ater which issueth out in small branches 
through the fenny and boggy ground, there breed 
divers poisonous worms and serpents, and the 
Spaniards not suspecting, nor in any sort fore- 
knowing the danger, were infected with a grievous 
kind of flux by drinking thereof, and even the very 
horses poisoned therewith : insomuch as at the end 
of the six months that tliey abode there, of all 
their troops, there were not left above 120 soldiers, 


and neither horse nor cattle. For Berreo hoped 
to have found Guiana by 1,000 miles nearer than 
it fell out to be in the end, by means whereof they 
sustained much want and much hunger, oppressed 
with grievous diseases, and all the miseries that 
could be imagined. I demanded of those in 
Guiana that had travelled Amapaia how they lived 
with that tawny or red water when tliey travelled 
thither, and they told me that after the sun was 
near the middle of the sky they used to fill their 
pots and pitchers with that water, but either before 
that time, or towards the setting of the sun, it was 
dangerous to drink of, and in the night strong 
poison. I learned also of divers other rivers of 
that nature among them which were also (while the 
sun was in the meridian) very safe to drink, and 
in the morning, evening, and night wonderfully 
dangerous and infective. From this province 
Berreo hasted away as soon as the spring and be- 
ginning of summer appeared, and sought his en- 
trance on the borders of Orinoco, on the south 
side, but there ran a ledge of so high and impas- 
sable mountains as he was not able by any means 
to march over them, continuing from the east sea, 
into which Orinoco falleth, even to Quito, in 


Peru ; neither had he means to carry victual 
or munition over those craggy, high, and fast hills, 
being all woody, and those so thick and spiny, and 
so full of prickles, thorns, and briers, as it is im- 
possible to creep through them. He had also neither 
friendship among the people, nor any interpreter 
to persuade or treat with them ; and more, to his 
disadvantage, the Caziqui and kings of Amapaia 
had given knowledge of his purpose to the Gui- 
anians, and that he sought to sack and conquer the 
empire, for the hope of their so great abundance 
and quantities of gold. He passed by the mouths 
of many great rivers, which fell into Orinoco 
both from the north and south, which I forbear to 
name for tediousness, and because they are more 
pleasing in describing than reading. 

Berreo affirmed that there fell a hundred rivers 
into Orinoco from the north and south, whereof 
the least was as big as Kio Grande, that passeth 
between Popayan and Kuevo reyno de Granada (E,io 
Grande being esteemed one of the most renowned 
rivers in all the West Indies, and numbered among 
the great rivers of the world) ; but he knew not 
the names of any of these, but Caroli only, neither 
from what nations they descended, neither to what 


provinces they led, for he had no means to dis- 
course with the inhabitants at any time : neither 
was he curious in these things, being utterly un- 
learned, and not knowing the east from the west. 
But of all these I got some knowledge, and of 
many more, partly by mine own travel, and the 
rest by conference : of some one I learned one, of 
others the rest, having with me an Indian that 
spoke many languages, and that of Guiana natur- 
ally. I sought out all the aged men, and such as 
were greatest travellers, and by the one and the 
other I came to understand the situations, the 
rivers, the kingdoms from the east sea to the bor- 
ders of Peru, and from Orinoco southward as far 
as Amazons or Marafion, and the regions of Maria 
Tamball, and of all the kings of provinces and 
captains of towns and villages, how they stood in 
terms of peace and war, and which were friends 
or enemies the one with the other, without which 
there can be neither entrance nor conquest in those 
parts, nor elsewhere. For by the dissension be- 
tween Guascar and Atabalipa, Pizarro conquered 
Peru, and by the hatred that the Traxcallians bare 
to Montezuma, Cortez was victorious over Mexico, 
without which both the one and the other had 


failed of their enterprise, and of the great honour 
and riches which they attained unto. 
. Now Berreo began to grow into despair, and 
looked for no other success than his predecessors 
in this enterprise, until such time as he arrived at 
the Province of Emeria, towards the east sea and 
mouth of the river, where he found a nation of 
people very favourable, and the country full of all 
manner of victual. The king of this land is called 
Oarapana, a man very wise, subtle, and of great ex- 
perience, being little less than one hundred years old. 
In his youth he was sent by his father into the island 
of Trinidad, by reason of civil war among themselves, 
and was bred at a village in that island called 
Parico ; at that place in his youth he had seen 
many Christians, both French and Spanish, and 
went divers times with the Indians of Trinidad to 
Marguerita and Cumana, in the West Indies (for 
both those places have ever been relieved with 
victual from Trinidad), by reason whereof he grew 
of more understanding, and noted the difference of 
the nations, comparing the strength and arms of 
his country with those of the Christians, and ever 
after temporised so, as whosoever else did amiss, or 
was wasted by contention, Carapana kept himself 


and his country in quiet and plenty : he also held 
peace with Caribas or cannibals, his neighbours, 
and had free trade with all nations, whosoever else 
had war. 

Berreo sojourned and rested his weak troop in 
the town of Carapana six weeks, and from him 
learned the way and passage to Guiana, and the 
riches and magnificence thereof; but being then 
utterly unable to proceed, he determined to try his 
fortune another year, when he had renewed his pro- 
visions and re-gathered more force, which he hoped 
for as well out of Spain as from Nuevo reyno, 
where he had left his son, Don Anthonio Xemenes, 
to second him upon the first notice given of 
his entrance, and so for the present embarked him- 
self in canoes, and by the branches of Orinoco 
arrived at Trinidad, having from Carapana suffi- 
cient pilots to conduct him. From Trinidad he 
coasted Paria, and so recovered Marguerita : and 
having made relation to Don Juan Sermiento, the 
governor of his proceeding, and persuaded him of 
the riches of Guiana, he obtained from thence 
fifty soldiers, promising presently to return to 
Carapana, and so into Guiana, But Berreo meant 
nothing less at that time, for he wanted many pro- 


visions necessary for such an enterprise, and there- 
fore departing from Marguerita, seated himself in 
Trinidad, and from thence sent his camp-master 
and his sergeant-major back to the borders to dis- 
cover the nearest passage into the Empire, as also 
to treat with the borderers, and to draw them to 
his party and love, without which he knew he 
could neither pass safely, nor in any sort be re- 
lieved with victual or aught else. Carapana 
directed this company to a king called Morequito, 
assuring them that no man could deliver so much 
of Guiana as Morequito could, and that his dwell- 
ing was but five days' journey from Macureguarai, 
the first civil town of Guiana. 

Kow your lordship shall understand that this 
Morequito, one of the greatest lords or kings of 
the borders of Guiana, had two or three years 
before been at Curaana and at Marguerita, in the 
West Indies, with great store of plates of gold, 
which he carried to exchange for such other things 
as he wanted in his own country, and was daily 
feasted, and presented by the governors of those 
places, and held amongst them some two months, 
in which time one Vides, governor of Cumana, 
wanted him to be his conductor into Guiana, being 


allured by those croissants and images of gold which 
he brought with him to trade, as also by the 
ancient fame and magnificence of El Dorado : 
whereupon Vides sent into Spain for a patent to 
discover and conquer Guiana, not knowing of the 
precedence of Berreo's patent, which, as Berreo 
affirmeth, was signed before that of Vides : so as 
when Vides understood of Berreo, and that he 
had made entrance into that territory, and fore- 
gone his desire and hope, it was verily thought 
that Vides practised with Morequito to hinder and 
disturb Berreo in all he could, and not to suffer 
him to enter through his seignory, nor any of his 
companies, neither to victual nor guide them in 
any sort ; for Vides, governor of Cumana, and 
Berreo were become mortal enemies, as well for that 
Berreo had got Trinidad into his patent with 
Guiana, as also in that he was by Berreo prevented 
in the journey of Guiana itself. Howsoever, it was 
I know not, but Morequito for a time dissembled 
his disposition, suffered Spaniards and a friar 
(which Berreo had sent to discover Manoa) to 
travel through his country, gave them a guide for 
Macureguarai, the first town of civil and apparelled 
people, from whence they had other guides to 


bring them to Manoa, the great city of Inga ; and 
being furnished with those things, which they had 
learned of Carapana were of most price in Guiana, 
went onward, and in eleven days arrived at Manoa, 
as Berreo affirmeth for certain : althouofh I could 
not be assured thereof by the lord which now 
governeth the Province of More quit o, for he told 
me that they got all the gold they had in other 
towns on this side Manoa, there being many very 
great and rich, and (as he said) built, like the to^vns 
of Christians, with many rooms. 

When these ten Spaniards were returned, and 
ready to put out of the border of Arromaia, the 
people of Morequito set upon them, and slesv them 
all but one, that swam the river, and took from 
them to the value of 40,000 pesoes of gold, and as 
it is written in the story of Job, one only lived to 
bring the news to Berreo, that both his nine soldiers 
and holy father were benighted in the said province. 
I myself spoke with the captains of Morequito 
that slew them, and was at the place where it was 
executed. Berreo, enraged herewithal, sent all the 
strength he could make into Arromaia, to be re- 
venged of him, his people, and country ; but More- 
quito suspecting the same, fled over Orinoco, and 


through tlie territories of the Saima and Wikiri, 
recovered Cumana, where he thought himself very 
safe with Vides, the governor. But Berreo sending 
for him in the king's name, and his messengers 
finding him in the house of one Fashardo on the 
sudden, ere it was suspected, so as he could not 
then be conveyed away, Yides durst not deny him, 
as well to avoid the suspicion of the practice, as 
also for that an holy father was slain by him and 
his people. Morequito offered Fashardo the weight 
of three quintals in gold to let him escape^ but 
the poor Guianian, betrayed of all sides, was 
delivered to the camp-master of Berreo, and was 
presently executed. 

After the death of this Morequito, the soldiers 
of Berreo spoiled his territory, and took divers 
prisoners; among others, they took the uncle of 
Morequito, called Topiawari, who is now king of 
Arromaia (whose son I brought with me into Eng- 
land), and is a man of great understanding and 
policy : he is above one hundred years old, and yet 
of a very able body. The Spaniards led him in a 
chain seventeen days, and made him their guide 
from place to place between his country and 
Emeria, the province of Carapana aforesaid, and 


was at last redeemed for one hundred plates of 
gold, and divers stones called Piedras Hijadas, or 
spleen stones. Now Berreo, for executing of 
Morequito and other cruelties, spoils, and slaughters 
done in Arromaia, hath lost the love of the Orino- 
coponi, and of all the borderers, and dare not send 
any of his soldiers any farther into the land than 
to Carapana, which he calleth the port of Guiana : 
but from thence, by the help of Carapana, he had 
trade farther into the country, and always ap- 
pointed ten Spaniards to reside in Carapana's town; 
by whose favour, and by being conducted by his 
people, those ten searched the country thereabouts 
as well for mines as for other trades and com- 

They have also gotten a nephew of Morequito, 
whom they have christened and named Don Juan, 
of whom they have great hope, endeavouring by all 
means to establish him in the said pro^'ince. 
Among many other trades, those Spaniards used in 
canoes to pass to the rivers of Barema, Pawroma, 
and Dissequebe, which are on the south side of the 
mouth of Orinoco, and there buy women and 
children from the cannibals, which are of that 
barbarous nature, as they will for three or four 



hatchets sell the sons and daughters of their own 
brethren and sisters, and for somewhat more even 
their own daughters : hereof the Spaniards make 
great profit, for buying a maid of twelve or 
thirteen years for three or four hatchets, they 
sell them again at Marguerita, in the West Indies, 
for fifty and one hundred pesoes, which is so many 


The master of my ship, John Douglas, took one 
of the canoes which came laden from thence with 
people to be sold, and the most of them escaped, 
yet of those he brought there was one as well 
favoured and as well shaped as ever I saw any 
in England, and afterward I saw many of them, 
which, but for their tawny colour, may be com- 
pared to any of Europe. They also trade in those 
rivers for bread of cassavi, of which they buy an 
hundred pound weight for a knife, and sell it at 
Marguerita for ten pesoes. They also recover 
great store of cotton, Brazil wood, and those beds 
which they call hamacas, or Brazil beds, wherein 
in hot countries all the Spaniards use to lie com- 
monly, and in no other ; neither did we ourselves 
while we were there. By means of which trades, 
for ransom of divers of the Guianians, and for ex- 


change of hatchets and knives, Berreo recovered 
some store of gold plates, eagles of gold, and 
images of men and divers birds, and despatched 
his camp-master for Spain with all that he had 
gathered, therewith to levy soldiers, and by 
the show thereof to draw others to the love of the 
enterprise : and having sent divers images as well 
of men as beasts, birds, and fishes so curiously 
wrought in gold, doubted not but to persuade the 
king to yield to him some further help, especially 
for that this land hath never been sacked, the 
mines never wrought, and in the Indies their 
works were well spent, and the gold drawn out 
with great labour and charge ; he also despatched 
messengers to his son in Nuevo reyno to le\'y all 
the forces he could^ and to come down the river of 
Orinoco to Emeria^ the province of Carapana, to 
meet him : he had also sent to Sant lago de Leon, 
on the coast of the Caracas, to buy horses and 

After I had thus learned of his proceedings past 
and purposed, I told him that I had resolved to 
see Guiana, and that it was the end of my journey, 
and the cause of my coming to Trinidad, as it was 
indeed (and for that purpose I sent James Whiddon 


the year before to get intelligence, with whom 
Berreo himself had speech at that time, and remem- 
bered how inquisitive James Whiddon was of his 
proceedings, and of the country of Guiana), Berreo 
was stricken into a great melancholy and sadness, 
and used all the arguments he could to dissuade 
me, and also assured the gentlemen of my company 
that it M^ould be labour lost ; and that they should 
suffer many miseries if they proceeded. And first 
he delivered that J could not enter any of the 
rivers with any barque or pinnace, nor hardly 
with any ship's boat, it was so low, sandy, and 
full of flats, and that his companies were daily 
grounded in their canoes, which drew but twelve 
inches water He further said that none of the 
country would come to speak with us, but would 
all fly, and if we followed them to their dwellings 
they would burn their own towns, and besides that 
the way was long, the winter at hand, and that 
the rivers beginning once to swell^ it was impossible 
to stem the current, and that we could not in those 
small boats by any means carry victual for half 
the time, and that (which indeed most discouraged 
my company) the kings and lords of all the 
borders and of Guiana had decreed that none of 


them should trade witli any Christian for gold, 
because the same would be their own overthrow, 
and that for the love of gold the Christians meant 
to conquer and dispossess them of all together. 

Many and the most of these I found to be true, 
but yet I resolving to make trial of all whatsoever 
happened, directed Captain George Gifford, my 
Yice-admiral, to take the Lion^s Whelp, and Captain 
Calfield his barque, to turn to the eastward, against 
the breeze what they could possible, to recover the 
mouth of a river called Capuri, whose entrance I 
had before sent Captain Whiddon and John 
Douglas, the master, to discover, who found some 
nine foot water or better upon the flood, and five 
at low water, to whom I had given instructions 
that they should anchor at the edge of the shoal, 
and upon the best of the flood to thrust over, 
which shoal John Douglas buoyed and beckoned 
for them before, but they laboured in vain, for 
neither could they turn it up altogether so far to 
the east, neither did the flood continue so long, but 
the water fell ere they could have passed the sands, 
ar. we after found by a second experience ; so as 
now we must either give over our enterprise, or 
leaving our ships at adventure four hundred miles 


behind us, to run up in our ship's boats, one barge, 
and two wherries, but being doubtful how to carry 
victuals for so long a time in such babies, or any 
strength of men, especially for that Berreo assured 
us that his son must be by that time come down 
with many soldiers, I sent away one King, master 
of the Lion^s Whelp, with his ship's boat, to try 
another branch of a river in the bottom of the bay 
of Guanipa, which was called Amana, to prove if 
there were water to be found for either of the 
small ships to enter. But when he came to the 
mouth of Amana, he found it as the rest, but 
stayed not to discover it thoroughly, because he 
was assured by an Indian, his guide, that the 
cannibals of Guanipa would assail them with many 
canoes, and that they shot poisoned arrows, so as 
if he hasted not back they should all be lost. 

In the meantime, fearing the worst, I caused all 
the carpenters we had to cut down a gallego boat, 
which we meant to cast off, and to fit her with 
banks to row on, and in all things to prepare her 
the best they could, so as she might be brought to 
draw but five foot, for so much we had on the bar 
of Capuri at low water. And doubting of King's 
return, I sent John Douglas again in my long 


barge, as well to relieve him as also to make a 
perfect search in the bottom of that bay, for it 
hath been held for infallible that whatsoever 
ship or boat shall fall therein can never disembark 
again, by reason of the violent current which 
setteth into the said bay, as also for that the 
breeze and easterly wind bloweth directly into the 
same, of which opinion I have heard John Hamp- 
ton of Plymouth, one of the greatest experience of 
England, and divers others besides that have traded 

I sent with John Douglas an old Cazique of 
Trinidad for a pilot, who told us that we could not 
return again by the bay or gulf, but that he knew 
a bye branch which ran within the land to the 
eastward, and that he thought by it we might fall 
into Capuri, and so return in four days. John 
Douglas searched those rivers, and found four 
goodly entrances, whereof the least was as big as 
the Thames at Woolwich, but in the bay thither- 
ward it was shoal and but six-foot water, so as we 
were now without hope of any ship or barque to 
pass over, and therefore resolved to go on with the 
boats, and the bottom of the gallego, in which we 
thrust sixty men ; in the Lion^s Whelp^s boat and 


wherry we carried twenty. Captain Calfield, in his 
wherry, carried ten more, and in ray barge another 
ten, which made up a hundred. We had no other 
means but to carry victuals for a month in the 
same, and also to lodge therein as we could, and to 
boil and dress our meat. Captain Gifford had with 
him Master Edward Porter, Captain Eynos, and 
eight more in his wherry, with all their victuals, 
weapons, and provisions. Captain Calfield had with 
him my cousin, Butshead Gorges, and eight more. 
In the galley, of gentlemen and officers myself 
had Captain Thyn, my cousin John Greenville, my 
nephew, John Gilbert, Captain Whiddon, Captain 
Keymis, Edward Hancock, Captain Clarke, Lieuten- 
ant Hewes, Thomas Upton, Captain Facy, Jerome 
Ferrar, Anthony Wells, William Connock, and 
about fifty more. We could not learn of Berreo 
any other way to enter but in branches, so far to the 
windward as it was impossible for us to recover, 
for we had as much sea to cross over in our 
wherries as between Dover and Calais, and in a 
great billow, the wind and current being both very 
strong, so as we were driven to go in those small 
boats directly before the wind into the bottom of 
the Bay of Guanipa, and from thence to enter the 


mouth of some one of those riv^ers, which John 
Douglas had last discovered, and had with us for 
pilot an Indian of Barema, a river to the south of 
Orinoco, between that and the Amazons, whose 
canoes we had formerly taken as he was going 
from the said Barema, laden with cassavi bread to 
sell at Marguerita ', this Arwacan promised to 
bring me into the great river Orinoco, but indeed 
of that which we entered he was utterly ignorant, 
for he had not seen it in twelve years before, at 
which time he was very young, and of no judg- 
ment, and if God had not sent us another help, we 
might have wandered a whole year in that labyrinth 
of rivers, ere we had found any way, either out oi* 
in^ especially after we were past the ebbing and 
flowing, which was in four days : for I know all 
the earth doth not yield the like confluence of 
streams and branches, the one crossing the other 
so many times, and all so fair and large, and so 
like one to another, as no man can tell which to 
take, and if we went by the sun or compass, hoping 
thereby to go dii-ectly one way or other, yet that 
way we were also carried in a circle amongst 
multitudes of islands, and every island so bordered 
with high trees, as no man could see any farther 


than the breadth of the river or length of the 
breach. But this it chanced that entering into a 
river (which because it had no name we called the 
river of the Red Cross, ourselves being the first 
Christians that ever came therein), the 22nd of 
May, as we were rowing up the same, we espied 
a small canoe with three Indians, which, by the 
swiftness of my barge, rowing with eight oars, I 
overtook ere they could cross the river ; the rest of 
the people on the banks, shadowed under the thick 
wood, gazed on with a doubtful conceit what might 
befall those three which we had taken. But 
when they perceived that we oflfered them no 
violence, neither entered their canoe with any of 
ours, nor took out of the canoe any of theirs, they 
then began to show themselves on the bank's 
side, and oflfered to traffic with us for such things 
as they had, and as we drew near they all stayed, 
and we came with our barge to the mouth of a 
little creek, which came from their town into the 
great river. 

As we abode there a while, our Indian pilot, 

called Ferdinando, would needs go ashore to their 

village to fetch some fruits, and to drink of their 

irtificial wines, and also to see the place, and to 

c— 67 


know the lord of it against another time, and 
took with him a brother of his which he had with 
him in the journey ; when they came to the village 
of these people, the lord of the island offered to 
lay hands on them, purposing to have slain them 
both, yielding for reason that this Indian of ours 
had brought a strange nation into their territory to 
spoil and destroy them. But the pilot, being quick 
and of a disposed body, slipped their fingers, and 
ran into the woods, and his brother being the 
better footman of the two, recovered the creek's 
mouth, where we stayed in our barge, crying out 
that his brother was slain ; with that we set hands 
on one of them that was next us, a very old man, 
and brought him into the barge, assuring him 
that if we had not our pilot again, we would 
presently cut off his head. This old man being 
resolved that he should pay the loss of the other, 
cried out to those in the woods to save Ferdinando, 
our pilot, but they followed him notwithstanding, 
and hunted after him upon the foot with their deer 
dogs, and with so main a cry that all the woods 
echoed with the shout they made, but at last this 
poor chased Indian recovered the river side, and 
got upon a tree, and as we were coasting, leaped 


down and swam to the barge, half dead with fear ; 
but our good hap was that we kept the other old 
Indian, which we handfasted to redeem our pilot 
withal, for being natural of those rivers, we 
assured ourselves he knew the way better than 
any stranger could, and indeed, but for this chance 
I think we had never found the way either to 
Guiana or back to our ships : for Ferdinando, after 
a few days, knew nothing at all, nor which way to 
turn ; yea, and many times the old man himself was 
in great doubt which river to take. Those people 
which dwell in these broken islands and drowned 
lands are generally called Tiuitiuas; there are of 
them two sorts, the one called Ciawani, and the 
other Waraweete. 

The great river of the Orinoco or Baraquan hath 
nine branches, which fall out on the north side of 
his own main mouth ; on the south side it hath 
seven other fallings into the sea, so it disembogueth 
by sixteen arms in all, between islands and broken 
ground, but the islands are very great, many of 
them as big as the Isle of Wight and bigger, and 
many less ; from the first branch on the north to 
the last of the south it is at least a hundred 
leagues, so as the river's mouth is no less than 


three hundred miles wide at its entrance into the 
sea, whieh I take to be far bigger than that of the 
Amazons ; all those that inhabit in the mouth of 
this river upon the several north branches are 
these Tiuitiuas, of which there are two chief lords, 
which have continual wars one with the other. 
The islands which lie on the right hand are called 
Pallamos, and the land on the left Hororotomaka, 
and the river by which John Douglas returned 
within the land from Amana to Capuri, they call 

These Tiuitiuas are a very goodly people and 
very valiant, and have the most manly speech and 
most deliberate that ever I heard, of what nation 
soever. In the summer they have houses on the 
ground, as in other places ; in the winter they 
dwell upon the trees, where they build very 
artificial towns and villages, as it is written in 
the Spanish story of the West Indies, that those 
people do in the low lands near the Gulf of Uraba ; 
for between May and September the river of the 
Orinoco riseth thirty foot upright, and then are 
those islands overflown twenty foot high above the 
level of the ground; saving some few raised grounds 
in the middle of them ; and for this cause thev are 


enforced to live in this manner. They never eat 
of anything that is set or sown, and as at home 
they use neither planting nor other manuring, so 
when they come abroad they refuse to feed of 
aught but of that which Nature without labour 
bringeth forth. They use the tops of palmitos for 
bread, and kill deer, fish, and pork for the rest of 
their sustenance; they have also many sorts of 
fruits that grow in the woods, and great variety of 
birds and fowl. 

And if to speak of them were not tedious and 
vulgar, surely we saw in those passages of very 
rare colours and forms, not elsewhere to be found, 
forasmuch as I have either seen or read. Of 
these people, those that dwell upon the branches of 
the Orinoco, called Capuri and Maciireo, are for the 
most part carpenters of canoes, for they make the 
most and fairest houses, and sell them into Guiana 
for gold, and into Trinidad for tobacco, in the 
excessive taking whereof they exceed all nations ; 
and notwithstanding the moistness of the air in 
which they live, the hardness of their diet, and the 
great labours they suffer to hunt, fish, and fowl for 
their living, in all my life, either in the Indies or 
in Europe, did I never behold a more goodly or 


better favoured people, or a more manly. They 
were vront to make war upon all nations, and 
especially upon the cannibals, so as none durst with- 
out a good strength trade by those rivers ; but of 
late they are at peace with their neighbours, all 
holding the Spaniards for a common enemy. 
When their commanders die, they use great 
lamentation, and when they think the flesh of 
their bodies is putrefied and fallen from the bones, 
then they take up the carcase again, and hang it in 
the Cazique's house that died, and deck his skull 
with feathers of all colours, and hang all his gold 
plates about the bones of his arms, thighs, and 
less. Those nations which are called Arwacas, 
which dwell on the south of the Orinoco (of which 
place and nation our Indian pilot was), are dis- 
persed in many other places, and do use to beat 
the bones of their lords into powder, and their 
wives and friends drink it all in their several sorts 
of drinks. 

After we departed from the port of these 
Ciawani we passed up the river with the flood, 
and anchored the ebb, and in this sort we went 
onward. The third day that we entered the river 
our galley came on ground, and stuck so fast as 


we thought that even there our discovery had 
ended, and that we must have left sixty of our 
men to have inhabited like rooks upon trees with 
those nations : but the next morning, after we had 
cast out all her ballast, with tugging and hauling 
to and fro, we got her afloat, and went on. At 
four days end we fell into as goodly a river as ever 
I beheld, which was called the great Amana, which 
ran more directly without windings and turnings 
than the other. But soon after the flood of the 
sea left us, and we enforced either by main strength 
to row against a violent current, or to return as 
wise as we went out, we had then no shift but to 
persuade the companies that it was but two or 
three days' work, and therefore desired them to 
take pains, every gentleman and others taking 
their turns to row, and to spell one the other at 
the oar's end. Every day we passed by goodly 
branches of rivers, some falling from the west, 
others from tlie east, into Amana, but those I leave 
to the description in the chart of discovery, where 
every one shall be named, with his rising and 
descent. When three days more were overgone, 
our companies began to despair, the weather being 
extremely hot, the river bordered with very high 


trees that kept away the air, and the current 
against us every day stronger than other. But 
we evermore commanded our pilots to promise an 
end the next day, and used it so long as we were 
driven to assure them from four reaches of the 
river to three, and so to two, and so to the next 
reach ; but so long we laboured as many days were 
spent, and so driven to draw ourselves to harder 
allowance, our bread even at the last, and no 
drink at all ; and our men and ourselves so 
wearied and scorched, and doubtful withal whether 
we should ever perform it or no, the heat in- 
creasing as we drew towards the line : for we were 
now in five degrees. 

The farther we went on (our victual decreasing 
and the air breeding great faintness) we grew 
weaker and weaker when we had most need of 
strength and ability, for hourly the river ran more 
violently than other against us, and the barge, 
wherries, and ship's boat of Captain Gifford and 
Captain Calfield had spent all their provisions, so 
as we were brought into despair and discomfort, 
had we not persuaded all the company that it was 
but only one day's work more to attain the land, 
where we should be relieved of all we wanted, and 


if we returned that we were sure to starve by the 
way, and that the world would also laugh us to 
scorn. On the banks of these rivers were divers 
sorts of fruits good to eat, flowers and trees of that 
variety as were sufficient to make ten volumes of 
herbals^ we relieved ourselves many times with the 
fruits of the country, and sometimes with fowl and 
fish ; we saw birds of all colours, some carnation, 
some crimson, orange tawny, purple, green, 
watched, and of all otlier sorts both simple and 
mixed, as it was unto us a great good passing of 
the time to behold them, besides the relief we 
found by killing some store of them with our 
fowling pieces, without which, having little or no 
bread and less drink, but only the thick and • 
troubled water of the river, we had been in a very 
hard case. 

Our old pilot of the Ciawani (whom, as I said 
before, we took to redeem Ferdinando) told us, 
that if we would enter a branch of a river on the 
rit^ht hand with our barsje and wherries, and leave 
the galley at anchor the while in the great river, 
he would bring us to a towu of the Arwacas 
where we should find store of bread, hens, fish, 
and of the country wine, and persuaded us that 


departing from the galley at noon, we might 
return ere night. I was very glad to hear this 
speech, and presently took my barge, with eight 
musketeers, Captain GifFord's wherry with himself 
and four musketeers, and Captain Calfield with his 
wherry and as many, and so we entered the mouth 
of this river, and because we were persuaded that 
it was so near, we took no victual with us at all. 
When we had rowed three hours we marvelled we 
saw no sign of any dwelling, and asked the pilot 
where the town was ; he told us a little farther. 
After three hours more, the sun being almost set, 
we began to suspect that he led us that way to 
betray us, for he confessed that those Spaniards 
which fled from Trinidad, and also those that 
remained with Carapana in Emeria, were joined 
together in some village upon that river. But 
when it grew towards night, and we demanding 
where the place was, he told us but four reaches 
more. When we had rowed four and four, we 
saw no sign, and our poor watermen, even heart- 
broken and tired, were ready to give up the 
ghost ; for we had now come from the galley near 
forty miles. 

At the last we determined to hang the pilot, 


and if we had well known the way back again by 
night, he had surely gone, but our own necessities 
pleaded sufficiently for his safety ; for it was as 
dark as pitch, and the river began so to narrow 
itself, and the trees to hang over from side to side, 
as we were driven with al-ming swords to cut a 
passage through those branches that covered the 
water. We were very desirous to find this town, 
hoping of a feast, because we made but a short 
breakfast aboard the galley in the morning, and it 
was now eight o'clock at night, and our stomachs 
began to gnaw apace j but whether it was best to 
return or go on, we began to doubt, suspecting 
treason in the pilot more and more. But the poor 
old Indian ever assured us that it was but a little 
farther, and but this one turning, and that 
turning, and at last about one o'clock after mid- 
night we saw a light, and rowing towards it, we 
heard the dogs of the village. When we landed 
we found few people, for the lord of that place was 
gone with divers canoes above 400 miles ofi', upon 
a journey towards the head of the Orinoco to trade 
for gold, and to buy women of the cannibals, who 
afterwards unfortunately passed by us as we rode 
at an anchor in the port of Morequito in the dark 


of night, and yet came so near us, as his canoes 
grated against our barges. He left one of his 
company at the port of Morequito, by whom we 
understood that he had brought thirty young 
women, divers plates of gold, and had great store 
of fine pieces of cotton cloth and cotton beds. In 
his house we had good store of bread, fish, hens, 
and Indian drink, and so rested that night; and 
in the morning, after we had traded with such of 
his people as came down, we returned towards 
our galley, and brought with us some quantity of 
bread, fish, and hens. 

On both sides of this river we passed the most 
beautiful country that ever mine eyes beheld ; 
and whereas all that we had seen before was 
nothing but woods, prickles, bushes, and thorns, 
here we beheld plains of twenty miles in length, 
the grass short and green, and in divers parts 
groves of trees by themselves, as if they had been 
by all the art and labour in the world so made of 
pur})Ose ; and still as we rowed, the deer came 
down feeding by the water side, as if they had 
been used to a keeper's call. Upon this river 
there were great store of fowl, and of many sorts ; 
we saw in it divers sorts of strange fishes, and of 


marvellous bigness ; but for lagartos it exceeded, 
for there were thousands of those ugly serpents, 
and the people call it, for the abundance of them, 
the river of lagartos in their language. I had a 
negro, a very proper young fellow, who leaping out 
of the galley to swim in the mouth of this river, 
was in all our sights taken and devoured by one 
of those lagartos. In the meanwhile our com- 
panies in the galley thought we had been all lost 
(for we promised to return before night), and sent 
the Lion's Whelps ship's boat with Captain 
Whiddon to follow us up the river ; but the next 
day after we had rowed up and down some four- 
score miles we returned, and went on our way up 
the great river ; and when we were even at the last 
cast for want of victuals, Captain Gifford being 
before the galley and the rest of the boats, seeking 
out some place to land upon the banks to make 
fire, espied four canoes coming down the river, and 
with no small joy caused his men to try the utter- 
most of their strength, and after a while two of the 
four gave over, and ran themselves ashore, every 
man betaking himself to the fastness of the woods ; 
the two other lesser got away, while he landed to 
lay hold of these, and so turned into some by creek, 


we knew not whither : those canoes that were 
taken were laden with bread, and were bound for 
Marguerita in the West Indies, which those 
Indians (called Arwacas) purposed to carry thither 
for exchano^e. But in the lesser there were three 
Spaniards, who having heard of the defeat of their 
governor in Trinidad, and that we purposed to 
enter Guiana, came away in those canoes : one of 
them was a cavallero, as the captain of the Ar- 
wacas after told us, another a soldier, and the 
third a refiner. 

In the meantime, nothing on the earth could have 
been more welcome to us next unto gold than the 
great store of very excellent bread which we found 
in these canoes, for now our men cried, " Let us go 
on, we care not how far." After that Captain 
Gifibrd had brought the two canoes to the galley, 
I took my barge and went to the bank side with 
a dozen shot, where the canoes first ran themselves 
ashore, and landed there, sending out Captain Gif- 
ford and Captain Thyn on one hand, and Captain 
Calfield on the other, to follow those that were fled 
into the woods, and as I was creeping through the 
bushes, I saw an Indian basket hidden, which was 
the refiner's basket, for I found in it his quicksilver. 


saltpetre, and divers things for the trial of metals, 
and also the dust of such ore as he had refined ; 
but in those canoes which escaped there was a good 
quantity of ore and gold. I then landed more 
men, and offered <£/)00 to what soldier soever could 
take one of those three Spaniards that we thought 
were landed. But our labours were in vain in that 
behalf, for they put themselves into one of the 
small canoes, and so while the greater canoes were 
in taking they escaped ; but seeking after the 
Spaniards, we found the Arwacas hidden in the 
woods which were pilots for the Spaniards, and 
rowed their canoes ; of which I kept the chiefest 
for a pilot, and carried him with me to Guiana, by 
whom I understood where and in what countries 
the Spaniards had laboured for gold, though I made 
not the same known to all, for when the springs 
began to break, and the rivers to raise themselves 
so suddenly as by no means we could abide the 
digging of any mine, especially for that the richest 
are defended with rocks of hard stone, which we 
call the white spar, and that it required both 
time, men, and instruments fit for such a work, I 
thought it best not to hover thereabouts, lest if the 
same had been perceived by the company, there 


would have been by this time many barks and 
ships set out, and perchance other nations would 
also have gotten of ours for pilots, so as both our- 
selves might have been prevented, and all our care 
taken for good usage of the people been utterly 
lost by those that only respect present profit, and 
such violence or insolence offered as the nations 
which are borderers Avould have changed their 
desire of our love and defence into hatred and 
violence. And for any longer stay to have brought 
a more quantity (which I hear hath been often 
objected), whosoever had seen or proved the fury 
of that river after it began to rise, and had been a 
month and odd days as we were from hearing 
aught from our ships, leaving them meanly manned 
above 400 miles off, would perchance have turned 
somewhat sooner than we did, if all the mountains 
had been gold or rich stones. And to say the 
truth, all the branches and small rivers which fell 
into the Orinoco were raised wdth such speed, as if 
we waded them over the shoes in the morning out- 
ward, we w^ere covered to the shoulders homeward 
the very same day : and to stay to dig out gold 
with our nails had been opus laboris, but not 
ingeniij such a quantity as would have served oui- 


turns we could not have had, but a discovery of 
the mines to our infinite disadvantage we had 
made, and that could have been the best profit of 
further search or stay; for those mines are not 
easily broken, nor opened in haste, and I could 
have returned a good quantity of gold ready cast, 
if I had not shot at another mark than present 

This Arwacan pilot with the rest, feared that we 
would have eaten" them, or otherwise have put 
them to some cruel death, for the Spaniards, to the 
end that none of the people in the passage towards 
Guiana or in Guiana itself might come to speech 
with us, persuaded all the nations that we were 
men eaters and cannibals; but when the poor 
men and women had seen us, and that we gave 
them meat, and to every one something or other, 
which was rare and strange to them, they be- 
gan to conceive the deceit and purpose of the 
Spaniards, who indeed (as they confessed) took 
from them both their wives and daughters daily, 
by strength. But I protest before the majesty 
of the living God, that I neither know nor be- 
lieve that any of our company one or other, by 
violence or otherwise, ever took any of their 


women, and yet we saw many hundreds, and had 
many in our power, and of those very young and 
excellently favoured which came among us without 

Nothing got us more love among them than this 
usage, for I suffered not any man to take from any 
of the nations so much as a pine, or a potato root, 
without giving them contentment, nor any man 
so much as offer to touch any of their wives 
or daughters, which course, so contrary to the 
Spaniards (who tyrannise over them in all things), 
drew them to admire her Majesty, whose com- 
mandment I told them it was, and also wonder- 
fully to honour our nation. But I confess it was a 
very impatient work to keep the meaner sort from 
spoil and stealing, when we came to their houses, 
w^hich because in all I could not prevent, I caused 
my Indian interpreter at every place when we de- 
parted to know of the loss or wrong done, and if 
aught were stolen or taken by violence, either the 
same was restored, and the party punished in their 
sight, or else it was paid for to their uttermost 
demand. ' They also much wondered at us, after 
they heard that we had slain the Spaniards at 
Trinidad, for they were before resolved that no 


nation of Christians durst abide their presence, and 
the}^ wondered more when I had made them know 
of the great overthrow that her Majesty's army 
and fleet had given them of late years in their own 

After we had taken m this supply of bread, with 
divers baskets of roots, which were excellent meat, 
I gave one of the canoes to the Arwacas, which 
belonged to the Spaniards that were escaped ] and 
when I had dismissed all but the captain (who by 
the Spaniards was christened Martin), I sent back 
in the same canoe the old Ciawan, and Ferdinando, 
my first pilot, and gave them both such things as 
they desired, with suflScient victual to carry them 
back, and by them wrote a letter to the ships, 
which they promised to deliver, and performed it, 
and then I went on with my new hired pilot, 
Martin the Arwacan ; but the next or second day 
after we came aground again with our galley, and 
were like to cast her away with all our victual and 
provision, and so lay on the sand one whole night, 
and were far more in despair at this time to free 
her than before, because we had no tide of flood to 
help us, and therefore feared that all our hopes 
would have ended in mishaps ; but we fastened an 


anchor upon the land, and with main strength 
drew her off; and so the fifteenth day we dis- 
covered afar off the mountains of Guiana to our 
great joy> and towards the evening had a slent of 
a northerly wind that blew very strong, which 
brought us in sight of the great river of the 
Orinoco, out of which this river descended wherein 
we were ; we descried afar off three other canoes 
as far as we could discern them, after whom we 
hastened with our barge and wherries, but two of 
them passed out of sight, and the third entered up 
the great river, on the right hand to the westward, 
and there stayed out of sight, thinking that we 
meant to take the way eastward towards the pro- 
vince of Carapana, for that way the Spaniards 
keep, not daring to go upwards to Guiana, the 
people in those parts being all their enemies, and 
those in the canoes thought us to have been those 
Spaniards that were fled from Trinidad, and had 
escaped killing ; and when we came so far down as 
the opening of that branch into which they slipped, 
being near them with our barge and wherries, we 
made after them, and ere they could land, came 
within call, and by our interpreter told them what 
we were, wherewith they came back willingly 


aboard iis ; and of such fish and tortugas' eggs as 
they had gathered, they gave us, and promised 
in the morning to bring the lord of that part 
with them, and to do us all other services they 

That night we came to an anchor at the parting 
of three goodly rivers ; the one was the river of 
Amana, by which we came from the north, and ran 
athwart towards the south, the other two were of 
the Orinoco, which crossed from the west and ran to 
the sea towards the east, and landed upon a fair 
sand, where we found thousands of tortuo-as' ecfcrs 
which are very wholesome meat, and greatly re- 
storing, so as our men were now well filled and 
highly contented both with the fare and nearness 
of the land of Guiana, which appeared in sight. In 
the morning there came down according to promise 
the lord of that border called Toparimaca, with 
some thirty or forty followers, and brought us 
divers sorts of fruits, and of his wine, bread, fish, 
and flesh, whom we also feasted as we could ; at 
least he drank good Spanish wine, whereof we had 
a small quantity in bottles, which above all things 
they love. I conferred with this Toparimaca of 
the next way to Guiana, who conducted our galley 


and boats to his own port, and caiTied us from 
thence some mile and a half to his town, where 
some of our captains caroused of his wine till they 
were reasonably pleasant, for it is very strong with 
pepper, and the juice of divers herbs, and fruits 
digested and purged ; they keep it in great earthen 
pots of ten or twelve gallons very clean and sweet, 
and are themselves at their meetings and feasts the 
greatest carousers and drunkards of the world. 
When we came to his town we found two Caziques, 
whereof one of them was a stranger that had been 
up the river in trade, and his boats, people, and 
wife encamped at the port where we anchored, and 
the other was of that country a follower of 
Toparimaca : they lay each of them in a cotton 
hamaca, which we call brasil beds, and two women 
attending them with six cups and a little ladle to 
fill them, out of an earthen pitcher of wine, and so 
they drank each of them three of those cups at a 
time, one to the other, and in this sort they drink 
drunk at their feasts and meetings. 

That Cazique that was a stranger had his wife 
staying at the port where we anchored, and in all 
my life I have seldom seen a better favoured 
woman. She was of good stature, with black eyes, 


fat of body, of an excellent countenance, her hair 
almost as long as herself, tied up again in pretty 
knots, and it seemed she stood not in that awe of 
her husband as the rest, for she spake and dis- 
coursed, and drank among the gentlemen and 
captains, and was very pleasant, knowing her own 
comeliness, and taking great pride therein. I 
have seen a lady in England so like her, as but for 
the difference of colour I would have sworn might 
have been the same. 

The seat of this town of Toparimaca was very 
pleasant, standing on a little hill, in an excellent 
prospect, with goodly gardens a mile compass round 
about it, and two very fair and large ponds of 
excellent fish adjoining. This town is called 
Arowacai : the people are of the nation called 
Nepoios, and are followers of Carapana. In that 
place I saw very aged people, that we might per- 
ceive all their sinews and veins without any flesh, 
and but even as a case covered only with skin. 
The lord of this place gave me an old man for 
pilot, who was of great experience and travel, and 
knew the river most perfectly both by day and 
night, and it shall be requisite for any man that 
passe th it to have such a pilot, for it is four, five, 


and six miles over in many places, and twenty 
miles in other places, with wonderful eddies and 
strong currents, many great islands and divers 
shoals, and many dangerous rocks, and besides 
upon any increase of wind so great a billow, as we 
were sometimes in great peril of drowning in the 
galley, for the small boats durst not come from the 
shore but when it was very fair. 

The next day we hastened thence, and having 
an easterly wind to help us, we spared our arms 
from rowing ; for after we entered the Orinoco, the 
river lieth for the most part east and west, even 
from the sea unto Quito in Peru. This river is 
navigable with ships little less than 1,000 miles, 
and from the place where we entered it may be 
sailed up in small pinnaces to many of the best 
parts of Nuevo reyno de Granado, and of Popayan : 
and from no place may the cities of these parts of 
the Indies be so easily taken and invaded as from 
hence. All that day we sailed up a branch of 
that river, having on the left hand a great island, 
which they call Assapana, which may contain some 
five and twenty miles in length, and six miles in 
breadth, the great body of the river running on the 
other side of this island : beyond that middle 


branch there is also anotlier island in the river, 
called Iwana, which is twice as big as the Isle of 
Wight, and beyond it, and between it and the main 
of Guiana, runneth a third branch of the Orinoco 
called Arraroopana : all three are goodly branches, 
and all navigable for great ships. I judge the 
river in this place to be at least thirty miles broad, 
reckoning the islands which divide the branches 
in it, for afterwards I sought also both the other 

After we reached to the head of this island, 
called Assapana, a little to the westward on the 
right hand there opened a river which came from 
the north, called Europa, and fell into the great 
river ; and beyond it, on the same side, we anchored 
for that night, by another island six miles long, and 
two miles broad, which they call Ocay wita. From 
hence in the morning we landed two Guianians, 
which we found in the town of Toparimaca, that 
came with us, who went to give notice of our 
coming to the lord of that country called 
Putyma, a follower of Topiawari, chief lord 
of Arromaia, who succeeded Morequito, whom, 
as you have heard before, Berreo put to death, 
but his town being far within the land, he 


came not unto us that day, so as we anchored 
again that night near the banks of another island, 
of bigness much like the other, which they call 
Putapayma, on the main land, over against which 
island was a very high mountain called Oecope : 
we coveted to anchor rather by these islands in the 
river than by the main, because of the tortugas' 
eggs, which our people found on them in great 
abundance, and also because the ground served 
better for us to cast our nets for fish, the main 
banks being for the most part stony and high, and 
the rocks of a blue metalline colour, like unto the 
best steel ore, which I assuredly take it to be : of 
the same blue stone are also divers great mountains, 
which border this river in many places. 

The next morning towards nine of the clock we 
weighed anchor, and the breeze increasing, we 
sailed always west up the river, and after a while 
opening the land on the right side, the country ap- 
peared to be champaign, and the banks showed very 
perfect red. I therefore sent two of the little 
barges with Captain Gifford, and with him Captain 
Thyn, Captain Calfield, my cousin Greenvile, my 
nephew John Gilbert, Captain Eynus, Master 
Edward Porter, and my cousin Butshead Gorges, 


with some few soldiers, to march over the banks of 
that red land, and to discover what manner of 
country it was on the other side, who at their 
return found it all a plain level, as far as they went 
or could discern, from the highest tree they could 
get upon : and my old pilot, a man of great travel, 
brother to the Cazique Toparimaca, told me, that 
those were called the plains of the Sayma, and that 
the same level reached to Cumana, and Carracas in 
the West Indies, which are 120 leagues to the 
north, and that there inhabited four principal 
nations. The first was the Sayma, the next Assa- 
wai, the third and greatest the Wikiri, by whom 
Pedro Hernandez de Serpa before mentioned was 
overthrown, as he passed with three hundred horse 
from Cumana towards the Orinoco, in his enterprise 
of Guiana ; the fourth are called Aroras, and are as 
black as negroes, but have smooth hair, and these 
are very valiant, or rather desperate people, and 
have the most strong poison on their arrows, and 
most dangerous of all nations, of which poison I 
will speak somewhat, being a digression not unne- 

There was nothino: whereof I was more curious 
than to find out the true remedies of these poisoned 


arrows, for besides the mortality of the wound they 
make, the party shot endureth the most insufferable 
torment in the world, and abideth a most ugly and 
lamentable death, sometimes dying stark mad, 
sometimes their bowels breaking out of their bellies, 
and are presently discoloured, as black as pitch, 
and so unsavoury, as no man can endure to cure or 
to attend them. And it is more strange to know, 
that in all this time there was never Spaniard, 
either by gift Or torment, that could attain to the 
true knowledge of the cure, although they have 
martyred and put to invented torture I know not 
how many of them. But every one of these 
Indians know it not, no, not one among thousands, 
but their soothsayers and priests, who do conceal 
it, and only teach it but from the father to the 

Those medicines which are vulgar, and serve for 
the ordinary poison, are made of the juice of a 
root called Tupara : the same also quencheth 
marvellously the heat of burning fevers, and 
healeth inward wounds, and broken veins, that 
bleed within the body. But I was more beholding 
to the Guianians than any other, for Antonio de 
Berreo told me that he could never attain to the 


knowledge thereof, and yet they taught me the 
best way of healing as well thereof, as of all other 
poisons. Some of the Spaniards have been cured 
in ordinary wounds of the common poisoned arrows 
with the juice of garlic ; but this is a general rule 
for all men that shall hereafter travel the Indies 
where poisoned arrows are used, that they must 
abstain from drink, for if they take any liquor into 
their body, as they shall be marvellously provoked 
thereunto by drought, I say, if they drink before 
the wound be dressed, or soon upon it, there is no 
way with them but present death. 

And so I will return again to our journey which 
for this third day we finished, and cast anchor 
again near the continent, on the left hand between 
two mountains, the one called Aroami, and the 
other Aio. I made no stay here but till midnic^ht, 
for I feared hourly lest any rain should fall, and 
then it had been impossible to have gone any 
further up, notwithstanding that there is every 
day a very strong breeze and easterly wind. I 
deferred the search of the country on the Guiana 
side till my return down the river. The next day 
we sailed by a great island in the middle of the 
river, called Manoripano, and as we walked a 


while on the island, while the galley got ahead of 
us, there came after us from the main a small canoe 
\^dth seven or eight Guianians, to invite us to 
anchor at their port, but I deferred it till my re- 
turn ; it was that Cazique to whom those Nepoios 
went, which came with us from the town of Topa- 
rimaca ; and so the fifth day we reached as high 
up as the province of Arromaia, the country of 
Morequito whom Berreo executed, and anchored to 
the west of an island called Murrecotima, ten miles 
long and five broad ; and that night the Cazique 
Aramiari (to whose town we made our long and 
hungry voyage out of the river of Amana) passed 

by us. 

The next day we arrived at the port of 
Morequito, and anchored there, sending away one 
of our pilots to seek the king of Aromaia, uncle to 
Morequito, slain by Berreo as aforesaid. The next 
day following before noon he came to us on foot 
from his house, which was fourteen English miles 
(himself being 110 years old), and returned on foot 
the same day, and with him many of the borderers, 
with many women and children, that came to 
wonder at our nation, and to bring us down victual, 
which they did in gi'eat plenty, as venison, pork, 


hens, chickens, fowl, fish, with clivers sorts of 
excellent fruits, and roots, and great abundance of 
pines, the princess of fruits, that grow under the 
sun, especially those of Guiana. They brought us 
also store of bread, and of their wine, and a sort 
of Paraquitos, no bigger than wrens, and of all 
other sorts both small and great ; one of them 
gave me a beast called by the Spaniards Armadillo, 
which they call Cassacam, which seemeth to be all 
barred over with small plates somewhat like to a 
rhinoceros, with a white horn growing in its hinder 
parts, as big as a great hunting horn, which they 
used to wind instead of a trumpet. Monardus 
write th that a little of the powder of that horn 
put into the ear cureth deafness. 

After this old king had rested a while in a little 
tent that I caused to be set up, I began by my 
interpreter to discourse with him of the death 
of Morequito his predecessor, and afterwards of the 
Spaniards, and ere I went any further I made him 
know the cause of my coming thither, whose 
servant I was, and that the Queen's pleasure was, 
I should undertake the voyage for their defence, 
and to deliver them from the tyranny of the 
Spaniards, dilating at large (as I had done before 


to those of Trinidad) her Majesty's greatness, her 
justice, her charity to all oppressed nations, with 
as many of the rest of her beauties and virtues 
as either I could express or they conceive, all 
which being with great admiration attentively 
heard, and marvellously admired, I began to sound 
the old man as touching Guiana and the state 
thereof, what sort of commonwealth it was, how 
governed, of what strength and policy, how far it 
extended, and what nations were friends or enemies 
adjoining, and finally of the distance, and way to 
enter the same : he told me that himself and his 
people, with all those dovvn the river towards the 
sea, as far as Emeria, the province of Carapana, 
were of Guiana, but that they called themselves 
Orinocoponi, because they bordered the great river 
of the Orinoco, and that all the nations between the 
river and those mountains in sight called Wacarima 
were of the same cast and appellation ; and that on 
the other side of those mountains of Wacarima 
there was a large plain (which after I discovered 
in my return) called the valley of Amariocapana ; 
in all that valley the people were also of the ancient 
Guianians. I asked what nations those were 
which inhabited on the further side of those 


mountains, beyond the valley of Amariocapana ; 
he answered with a great sigh (as a man which had 
inward feeling of the loss of his country and 
liberty, especially for that his eldest son was slain 
in a battle on that side of the mountains, whom he 
most entirely loved) that he remembered in his 
father's lifetime, when he was very old and him- 
self a young man, that there came down into that 
large valley of Guiana, a nation from so far off as 
the sun slept (for such were his own words), with 
so great a multitude as they could not be numbered 
nor resisted, and that they wore large coats and 
hats of crimson colour, which colour he expressed 
by showing a piece of red wood wherewith my tent 
was supported, and that they were called Oreiones, 
and Epuremei, those that had slain and rooted out 
so many of the ancient people as there were leaves 
in the wood upon all the trees, and had now made 
themselves lords of all, even to that mountain foot 
called Curaa, sa^ang only of two nations, the one 
called Iwarawaqueri, and the other Cassipagotos, and 
that in the last battle fought between the Epuremei 
and the Iwarawaqueri, his eldest son was chosen 
to carry to the aid of the Iwarawaqueri a great 
troop of the Orinocoponi, and was there slaiu; with 
D— 67 


all his people and friends, and that he had now re- 
maining but one son; and farther told me that those 
Epuremei had built a great town called Macure- 
gnarai, at the said mountain foot, at the beginning 
of the gi'eat plains of Guiana, which have no end : 
and that their houses have many rooms, one over 
the other, and that therein the great king of the 
Oreiones and Epuremei kept three thousand men 
to defend the borders against them, and withal 
daily to invade and slay them ; but that of late 
years, since the Christians offered to invade his 
tenitories and those frontiers, they were all at 
peace, and traded one with another, saving only 
the Iwarawaqueri, and those other nations upon 
the head of tVie river of Caroli, called Cassipagotos, 
which we afterwards discovered, each one holding 
the Spaniard for a common enemy. 

After he had answered thus far, he desired 
leave to depart, saying that he had far to go, that 
he was old and weak, and was every day called 
for by death, which was also his own phrase. I de- 
sired him to rest with us that night, but I could 
not intreat him, but he told me that at my return 
from the country above, he would again come to 
us, and in the meantime provide for us the best 


he could, of all that his country yielded ; the same 
night he returned to Orocotona, his own town, so 
as he went that day twenty-eight miles, the 
weather being very hot, the country being situate 
between four and five degrees of the Equinoctial. 
This Topiawari is held for the proudest and wisest 
of all the Orinocoponi, and so he behaved himself 
towards me in all his answers at my return, as I 
marvelled to find a man of that gravity and judg- 
ment, and of so good discourse, that had no help of 
learning nor breeding. 

The next morning we also left the port, and 
sailed westward up the river, to view the famous 
river called Caroli, as well because it was marvel- 
lous of itself, as also for that I understood it led to 
the strongest nations of all the frontiers, that were 
enemies to the Epuremei, which are subjects to 
Inga, Emperor of Guiana and Manoa; and that 
night we anchored at another island called Caiama, 
of some five or six miles in length, and the next 
day arrived at the mouth of Caroli. Wlien we were 
short of it as low or further down as the port of 
Morequito we heard the great roar and fall of the 
river, but when we came to enter with our barge 
and wherries, thinking to have gone up some forty 


miles to the nations of the Cassipagotos, we were not 
able with a barge of eight oars to row one stone's 
cast in an hour, and yet the river is as broad as the 
Thames at Woohvich, and we tried both sides and 
the middle, and every part of the river, so as w^e 
encamped upon the banks adjoining, and sent off 
our Orinocopone (which came with us from 
Morequito) to giv^e knowledge to the nations upon 
the river of our being there, and that we desired 
to see the lords of Canuria, which dwelt within 
the province upon that river, making them know 
that we were enemies to the Spaniards (for it 
was on this river side that Morequito slew 
the friar, and those nine Spaniards which came 
from Manoa, the city of Inga, and took from 
them 40,000 pesoes of gold), so as the next 
day there came down a lord or Cazique called 
Wanuretona with many people with him, and 
brought all store of provisions to entertain us, as 
the rest had done. And as I had before made my 
coming known to Topiawari, so did I acquaint this 
Cazique therewith, and how I was sent by her 
Majesty for the purpose aforesaid, and gathered 
also what I could of him touching the estate of 
Guiana, and I found that those also of Caroli were 


not ouly enemies to the Spaniards but most of all 
to the Epuremei, which abound in gold ; and by 
this Wanuretona I had knowledge that on the 
head of this river were three mighty nations, 
which were seated on a great lake, from whence 
this river descended, and were called Cassipagotos, 
Eparagotos, and Arawagotos, and that all those 
either against the Spaniards or the Epuremei would 
join with us, and that if we entered the land over 
the mountains of Curaa, we should satisfy ourselves 
with gold and all other good things. He told us 
further of a nation called Iwarawaqueri before 
spoken of, that held daily war w^ith the Epuremei 
that inhabited Macureguarai, the first civil town of 
Guiana, of the subjects of Inga the Emperor. 

Upon this river one Captain George, that I took 
with Berreo, told me there was a great silver mine^ 
an'd that it was near the banks of the said river. 
But by this time as well Orinoco, Caroli, as all the 
rest of the rivers were risen four or five feet in 
height, so as it was not possible by the strength 
of any men, or with any boat w^hatsoever, to row 
into the river against the stream. I therefore 
sent Captain Thyn, Captain Greenvile, my nephew 
John Gilbert, my cousin Butshead Gorges, Captain 


Clarke, and some thirty shot more, to coast the 
river by land, and to go to a town some twenty 
miles over the valley called Amnatapoi, and if 
they found guides there, to go further towards 
the mountain foot to another great town, called 
Capurepana, belonging to a Cazique called 
Haharacoa (that was a nephew to old Topiawari, 
King of Arromaia, our chiefest friend), because 
this town and province of Capurepana adjoined to 
Macuregiiarai, which was the frontier town of the 
empire. And the meanwhile myself, with Captain 
Gifford, Captain Calfield, Edward Hancocke, and 
some half a dozen shot, marched over land to view 
the strange overfalls of the river of Caroli, which 
roared so far off, and also to see the plains ad- 
joining, and the rest of the pro\'ince of Canuri. I 
sent also Captain Whiddon, W. Connocke, and 
some eight shot wdth them, to see if they could 
find any mineral stone along the river side. When 
we ran to the tops of the first hills of the plains 
adjoining to the river, we beheld that wonderful 
breach of waters which ran down Caroli ; and 
might from that mountain see the river how it ran 
in three parts, about twenty miles off, and there 
appeared some ten or twelve overfalls in sight. 


every one as high over the other as a church tower, 
which fell with that fury that the rel30und of 
waters made it seem as if it had been all covered 
over with a great shower of rain ; and in some 
places we took it at the first for a smoke that had 
risen over some great town. For mine own part 
I was well persuaded from thence to have re- 
turned, being a very ill footman, but the rest were 
all so desirous to go near the said strange thunder 
of waters, as they drew me on by little and little, 
till we came into tlie next valley, where we might 
better discern the same. I never saw a more 
beautiful country, nor more lively prospects, hills 
so raised here and there over the valleys, the river 
winding into divers branches, the plains adjoining 
without bush or stubble, all fiair green grass, the 
ground of hard sand, easy to march on either for 
horse or foot ; the deer crossing in every path ; 
the birds towards the evening singing on every 
tree, with a thousand several tunes ; cranes and 
herons of white, crimson, and carnation perching 
on the river side ; the air fresh with a gentle 
easterly wind, and every stone that we stooped to 
take up promised either gold or silver by his com- 
plexion. Your lordships shall see of many sorts, 


and I hope some of them cannot be bettered under 
the sun, and yet we had no means but with our 
dagrixers and finorers to tear them out here and 
there, the rocks being most hard of that mineral 
spar aforesaid and is like a flint, and is altogether 
as hard, or harder, and besides, the veins lie a 
fathom or two deep in the rocks. But we wanted 
all things requisite save only our desires and good 
will to have performed more if it had pleased God. 
To be short, when both our companies returned, 
each of them brought also several sorts of stone 
that appeared very fair, but were such as they 
found loose on the ground, and were for the most 
part but coloured, and had not any gold fixed in 
them ; yet such as had no judgment or experience 
kept all that glistered, and would not be persuaded 
but it was rich because of the lustre, and brought 
of those, and of marquesite withal from Trinidad, 
and have delivered of those stones to be tried in 
many places, and have thereby bred an opinion 
that all the rest is of the same ; yet some of these 
stones I showed afterwards to a Spaniard of the 
Caracas who told me that it was El Madre deloro, 
and that the mine was further in the ground. But 
it shall be found a weak policy in me either to 


betray myself or my country with imaginations, 
neither am I so far in love with that lodging, 
watching, care, peril, diseases, ill-savours, bad 
fare, and many other mischiefs that accompany 
these voyages, as to woo myself again into any of 
them, were I not assured that the sun covereth not 
so much riches in any part of the earth. Captain 
Whiddon and our chirurgeon, Nicholas Mille- 
chap, brought me a kind of stones like sapphires ; 
what they may prove I know not. I showed them 
to some of the Orinocoponi, and they promised to 
bring me to a mountain that had of them very 
large pieces growing diamond wise. Whether it 
be crystal of the mountain, Bristol diamond, or 
sapphire. I do not yet know, but I hope the best ; 
sure I am that the place is as likely as those from 
whence all the rich stones are brought, and in the 
same height, or very near. On the left hand of 
this river Caroli are seated those nations which 
are called Iwarawaqueri before remembered, which 
are enemies to the Epuremei ; and on the head of 
it, adjoining to the great lake Cassipa, are situate 
those other nations which also resist Inga, and the 
Epuremei, called Cassepagotos, Eparegotos, and 
Arawagotos. I further understood that this lake 


of Cassipa is so large, as it is above one day's 
journey for one of their canoes to cross, which 
may be some forty miles, and that therein fall 
divers rivers, and that great store of grains of 
gold are found in the summer time when the lake 
falleth by the banks in those branches. There is 
also another goodly river beyond Caroli which is 
called Arui, which also runneth through the lake 
Cassipa, and falleth into the Orinoco further west, 
making all that land between Caroli and Arui an 
island, which is likewise a most beautiful country. 
Next unto Arui there are two rivers, Atoica and 
Caora, and on that branch which is called Caora 
are a nation of people whose heads appear not 
above their shoulders, which though it may be 
thought a mere fable, yet for mine own part I am 
resolved it is true, because every child in the pro- 
vinces of Arromaia and Canuri affirm the same. 
They are called Ewaij^anoma. They are reported 
to have their eyes in their shoulders, and their 
mouths in the middle of their breasts, and that a 
long train of hair groweth backward between their 
shoulders. The son of Topiawari, which I brought 
with me into England, told me that they are the 
most mighty men of all the land, and use bows, 


arrows, and clubs thrice as big as any of Guiana 
or of the Orinocoponi, and that one of the Iwara- 
waqueri took a prisoner of them the year before our 
arrival there, and brought him into the borders of 
Arromaia his father's country. And further, when 
I seemed to doubt of it, he told me that it was no 
wonder among them, but that they were as great a 
nation, and as common as any other in all the 
provinces, and had of late years slain many hun- 
dreds of his father's people, and of other nations 
their neighbours; but it was not my chance to liear 
of them till I was come away, and if I had but 
spoken one word of it while I was there, I might 
have brought one of them with me to put the 
matter out of doubt. Such a nation was written 
of by Maundeville, whose reports were held for 
fables many years, and yet since the East Indies 
were discovered, we find his relations true of such 
things as heretofore were held incredible. Whether 
it be true or no the matter is not great, neither 
can there be any profit in the imagination; for 
mine own part I saw them not, but I am resolved 
that so many people did not all combine or fore- 
think to make the report. 

When I came to Cumana in the West Indies 


afterwards, by cliance I spake with a Spaniard 
dwelling not far from thence, a man of great 
travel, and after he knew that I had been in 
Guiana, and so far directly west as Caroli, the first 
question he asked me was whether I had seen any 
of the Ewaipanoma, which are those without heads 
who being esteemed a most honest man of his 
word, and in all things else, told me that he had 
seen many of them : I may not name him because 
it may be for his disadvantage, but he is well 
known to Monsieur Mucheron's son, of London, 
and to Peter Mucheron, merchant of the Flemish 
ship that was there in trade, who also heard what 
he avowed to be true of those people. The fourth 
river to the west of Caroli is Casnero, which falleth 
into the Orinoco on this side of Amapaia, and that 
river is greater than Danubius, or any of Europe : 
it riseth on the south of Guiana from the moun 
tains which divide Guiana from Amazones, and I 
think it to be navigable many hundred miles. But 
we had no time, means, nor season of the year to 
search those rivers for the causes aforesaid, the 
winter being come upon us, although the winter 
and summer as touching cold and heat differ 
not, neither do the trees ever sensibly lose their 


leaves, but have always fruit either ripe or green, 
and most of them both blossoms, leaves, ripe fruit, 
and green at one time ; but their winter only con- 
sisteth of terrible rains and overflowings of the 
rivers, with many great storms and gusts, thunder 
and lightnings, of which we had our fill ere we 
returned. On the north side, the first river that 
falleth into the Orinoco is Cari ; beyond it on the 
same side is the river of Limo ; between these two is 
a great nation of cannibals, and their chief town 
beareth the name of the river, and is called Acama- 
cari. At this town is a continual market of women 
for three or four hatchets a piece; they are bought 
by the Arwacas, and by them sold into the West 
Indies. To the west of Limo is the river Pao, 
beyond it Caturi, beyond that Voari and Capuri, 
which falleth out of the great river of Meta, by 
which Berreo descended fi-om Nuevo reyno de 
Granada. To the westward of Capuri is the 
province of Amapaia, where Berreo wintered, and 
had so many of his people poisoned with the tawny 
water of the marshes of the Anebas. Above 
Amapaia, toward Nuevo reyno, fall in Meta, Pato, 
and Cassanar ; to the west of these towards the 
provinces of the Ashaguas and Catetios are the 


rivers of Beta, Dawney, and Ubarro. and towards the 
frontier of Peru are the provinces of Thomebamba 
and Caximalta. Adjoining to Quito in the north of 
Peru are the rivers of Guiacar and Goauar ; and 
on the other side of the said mountains the river 
of Papamene, which descendeth into Maraiion or 
Amazones, passing through the province of Muty- 
lones, where Don Pedro de Osua, who was slain by 
the traitor Agiri before rehearsed, built his brigan- 
dines, when he sought Guiana by the way of the 
Amazones. Between Dawny and Beta lieth a 
famous island in Orinoco, now called Baraquan 
(for above Meta it is not known by the name of 
Orinoco), which is called Athule, beyond which, 
ships of burden cannot pass by reason of a most 
forcible overfall and current of waters : but in the 
eddy all smaller vessels may be drawn even to 
Peru itself. But to speak of more of these rivers 
without the description were but tedious, and 
therefore I will leave the rest to the description. 
This river of Orinoco is navigable for ships 
little less than 1,000 miles, and for lesser vessels 
near 2,000. By it, as aforesaid, Peru, Nuevo 
reyno, and Popayan, may be invaded; it also 
leadeth to that great empire of Inga, and to the 


provinces of Amapaia and Anebas, which abound 
in gold : his branches of Cosnero, Manta, Caora 
descend from the middle land and valley, which 
lieth between the eastern province of Peru and 
Guiana ; and it falls into the sea between Mara- 
iion and Trinidad in two degrees and a half, all 
which your honours shall better perceive in the 
general description of Guiana, Peru, Nuevo reyno, 
the kingdom of Popayan, and Roidas, with the 
province of Venezuela, to the bay of Uraba behind 
Carthagena westward ; and to Amazones south- 
ward. While we lay at anchor on the coast of 
Canuri, and had taken knowledge of all the nations 
upon the head and branches of this river, and had 
found out so many several people, which were 
enemies to the Epuremei and the new conquerors, 
I thought it time lost to linger any longer in that 
place, especially for that the fury of the Orinoco 
began daily to threaten us with dangers in our 
return, for no half-day passed but the river began 
to rage and overflow very fearfully, and the rains 
came down in terrible showers, and gusts in great 
abundance : and withal, our men began to cry out 
for want of shift, for no man had place to bestow 
any other apparel than that which he wore on his 


back, and that was thoroughly washed on his body 
for the most part ten times in one day : and we 
had now been well near a month, every day passing 
to the westward further and further from our ships. 
We therefore turned towards the east, and spent 
the rest of the time in discovering the river towards 
the sea, which we had not yet viewed, and which 
was most material. The next day following we 
left the mouth of Caroli, and arrived again at the 
port of Morequito where we were before (for 
passing do^vn the stream we went without labour, 
and against the wind, little less than 100 miles 
a day). As soon as I came to anchor, I sent away 
one for old Topiawari, with whom I much desired 
to have further conference, and also to deal with 
him for some one of his country to bring with us 
into England, as well to learn the language as to 
confer withal by the way, the time being now 
spent of any longer stay there. Within three hours 
after my messenger came to him, he arrived also, 
and with him such a rabble of all sorts of people, 
and every one laden with something, as if it had 
been a great market or fair in England : and our 
hungry companies clustered thick and threefold 
among their baskets, every one laying hand on what 


he liked. After he had rested awhile in my tent, 
I shut out all but ourselves and my interpreter, 
and told him that I knew that both the Epuremei 
and the Spaniards were enemies to him, his 
country, and nations : that the one had conq\iered 
Guiana already, and that the other sought to 
regain the same from them both. And therefore I 
desired him to instruct me what he could, both of 
the passage into the golden parts of Guiana, and 
to the civil towns and apparelled people of Inga. 
He gave me an answer to this effect : first, that he 
did not perceive that I meant to go onward to- 
wards the city of Manoa, for neither the time of 
the year served, neither could he perceive any 
sufficient numbers for such an enterprise ; and if 
I did, I was sure with all my company to be 
buried there, for that the Emperor was of that 
strength, as that many times so many men more 
were too few ; besides, he gave me this good coun- 
sel and advised me to hold it in mind, as for him- 
self he knew, he could not live till my return, that 
I should not offer by any means hereafter to invade 
the strong parts of Guiana without the help of all 
those nations which were also their enemies : for 
that it was impossible without those, either to be 


conducted, to be victualled, or to have aught 
carried with us, our people not being able to endure 
the march in so great heat and travel, unless the 
borderers gave them help, to carry with them both 
their meat and furniture, for he remembered that 
in the plains of Macureguarai 300 Spaniards were 
overthrown, who were tired out, and had none 
of the borderers to their friends, but meeting their 
enemies as they passed the frontier, were environed 
on all sides, and the people setting the long dry 
grass on fire, smothered them so as they had no 
breath to fight, nor could discern their enemies for 
the great smoke. He told me further that four 
days' journey from his town was Macureguarai, and 
that those were the next and nearest of the subjects 
of Inga, and of the Epuremei, and the first town of 
apparelled and rich people, and that all those 
plates of gold which were scattered among the 
borderers, and carried to other nations far and 
near, came from the said Macureguarai, and were 
there made, but that those of the land within were 
far finer, and were fashioned after the image of 
men, beasts, birds, and fishes. I asked him 
whether he thought that those companies that I 
had there with me were sufficient to take that 


town or no ; he told me that he thought they were. 
I then asked him whether he would assist me with 
guides, and some companies of his people to join 
with us ; he answered that he would go himself 
with all the borderers, if the rivers did remain 
fordable, upon this condition that I would leave 
with him till my return again fifty soldiers, which 
he undertook to victual ; I answered that I had 
not above fifty good men in all there, the rest were 
labourers and rowers, and that I had no provision 
to leave with them of powder, shot, apparel, or 
aught else, and that without those things necessary 
for their defence, they should be in danger of the 
Spaniards in my absence, who I knew would use 
the same measure towards mine that I offered 
them at Trinidad ; and, although upon the motion 
Captain Calfield, Captain Grenvile, my nephew, 
John Gilbert, and divers others were desirous to 
stay, yet I was resolved that they must needs 
have perished, for Berreo expected daily a supply 
out of Spain, and looked also hourly for his son to 
come down from Nuevo reyno de Granada, with 
many horse and foot, and had also in Yalentia in 
the Caracas, 200 horse ready to march, and I could 
not have spared above forty, and had not any 


store at all of powder, lead, or match to have left 
with them, nor any other provision, either spade, 
pickaxe, or aught else to have fortified withal. 
When I had given him reason that I could not at 
this time leave him such a company, he then de- 
sired me to forbear him and his country for that 
time, for he assured me that I should be no sooner 
three days from the coast, but those Epuremei 
would invade him, and destroy all the remain of his 
people and friends, if he should any way either guide 
us or assist us against them. He further alleged 
that the Spaniards sought his death, and as they 
had already murdered his nephew, Morequito, lord 
of that province, so they had him seventeen days 
in a chain before he was king of the country, and 
led him like a dog from place to place, until he 
had paid 100 plates of gold, and divers chains of 
spleen stones, for his ransom ; and now since he 
became owner of that province that they had many 
times laid wait to take him, and that they would 
be now more vehement when they should under- 
stand of his conference with the English, and be- 
cause, said he, they w^ould the better displant me, 
if they cannot lay hands on me, they have gotten 
a nephew of mine called Eparacano, whom they 


have christened Don Juan, and his son Don Pedro, 
whom they have also apparelled and armed, by whom 
they seek to make a party against me, in mine own 
country : he also hath taken to wife one Louiana, 
of a strong family, which are my borderers and 
neighbours : and myself being now old, and in the 
hands of death, am not able to travel nor to shift, 
as when I was of younger years; he therefore prayed 
us to defer it till the next year, when he would 
undertake to draw in all the borderers to serve 
us, and then also it would be more seasonable to 
travel, for at this time of the year we should not be 
able to pass any river, the waters were and would be 
so grown ere our return. He further told me that I 
could not desire so much to invade Macureguari 
and the rest of Guiana, but that the borderers 
would be more vehement tlian I, for he yielded for 
a chief cause that in the wars with the Epuremei 
they were spoiled of their women, and that their 
wives and daughters were taken from them, so 
as for their own parts they desired nothing of 
the gold or treasure for their labours, but only to 
recover women from the Epuremei : for he further 
complained very sadly (as if it had been a matter 
of great consequence), that whereas they were 


wont to have ten or twelve wives, they were now 
enforced to content themselves with three or- four, 
and that the lords of the Epuremei had fifty or 
one hundred. And in truth they were more for 
women than either for gold or dominion. For the 
lords of countries desire many children of their 
own bodies, to increase their races and kindreds, 
for in those consist their greatest trust and 
strength. Divers of his followers afterwards 
desired me to make haste again, that they might 
sack the Epuremei, and I asked them of what"? 
They answered, of their women for us, and their 
gold for you ; for the hope of many of those women 
they more desire the war, than either for gold, or 
for the recovery of their ancient territories. For 
what between the subjects of Inga, and the 
Spaniards, those frontiers are grown thin of people, 
and also great numbers are fled to other nations 
further off for fear of the Spaniards. After I re- 
ceived this answer of the old man, we fell into con- 
sideration, whether it had been of better advice 
to have entered Macureguarai, and to have begun 
a war upon Inga at this time, yea or no, if the 
time of the year and all things else had sorted. 
For mine own part (as we were not able to march 


it for the rivers, neither had any such strength 
as was requisite, and durst not abide the coming of 
the winter, or to tarry any longer from, our ships), 
I thought it very evil counsel to have attemj)ted 
it at that time, although the desire of gold will 
answer many objections. But it would have been 
in my opinion an utter overthrow to the enterprise, 
if the same should be hereafter by her Majesty 
attempted : for then (whereas now they have 
heard we were enemies to the Spaniards and were 
sent by her Majesty to relieve them) they would as 
good cheap have joined with the Spaniards at our 
return, as to have yielded unto us, when they had 
proved that we came both for one errand, and that 
both sought but to sack and spoil them. But as yet 
our desire of gold, or our purpose of invasion, is not 
known unto those of the empire : and it is likely 
that if her Majesty undertake the enterprise, they 
will rather submit themselves to her obedience than 
to the Spaniards, of whose cruelty both themselves 
and the borderers have already tasted ; and, there- 
fore, till I had known her Majesty's pleasure, I 
would rather have lost the sack of one or two 
towns, although they might have been very profit- 
able, than to have defaced or endangered the 


future hope of so many millions, and the great 
good and rich trade which England may be 
possessed of thereby. T am assured now that they 
will all die even to the last man against the 
Spaniards, in hope of our succour and return : 
whereas otherwise if I had either laid hands on the 
borderers, or ransomed the lords as Berreo did, or 
invaded the subjects of Inga, I know all had been 
lost for hereafter. After that I had resolved 
Topiawari, lord of Aromaia, that I could not at 
this time leave with him the companies he desired, 
and that I was contented to forbear the enterprise 
against the Epuremei till the next year, he freely 
gave me his only son to with me into England, 
and hoped, that though he himself had but a short 
time to live, yet that by our means his son should 
be established after his death : and I left with him 
one Francis Sparrow, a servant of Captain Gifibrd, 
who was desirous to tarry, and could describe a 
country with his pen, and a boy of mine called 
Hugh Goodwin, to learn the language. I after 
asked the manner how the Epuremei wrought those 
plates of gold, and how they could melt it out of 
the stone ; he told me that the most of the gold 
which they made in plates and images was not 


severed from the stone, but that on the lake of 
Manoa, and in a multitude of other rivers, they 
gathered it in grains of perfect gold, and in pieces 
as big as small stones, and that they put to it a 
part of copper, otherwise they could not work it, 
and that they used a great earthen pot with holes 
round about it, and when they had mingled the gold 
and copper together, they fastened canes to the 
holes, and so with the breath of men they increased 
the fire till the metal ran, and then they cast it 
into moulds of stone and clay, and so make those 
plates and images. I have sent your honours of 
two sorts such as I could by chance recover, more 
to show the manner of them than for the value : 
for I did not in any sort make my desire for gold 
known, because 1 had neither time nor power to 
have a greater quantity. I gave among them many 
more pieces of gold than I received of the new 
money of twenty shillings with her Majesty's pic- 
ture to wear, with promise that they would become 
her servants thenceforth. 

I have also sent your honours of the ore, 
whereof I know some is as rich as the earth 
yieldeth any, of which I know there is suflScient, 
if nothing else were to be hoped for. But besides 


that we were not able to tarry and search the hills, 
so we had neither pioneers, bars, sledges, nor 
wedges of iron, to break the ground, without 
which there is no working in mines : but we saw 
all the hills with stones of the colour of gold and 
silver, and v/e tried them to be no marquesite, 
and therefore such as the Spaniards call El Madre 
del oro, which is an undoubted assurance of the 
general abundance ; and myself saw the outside of 
many mines of the white spar, which I know to be 
the same that all covet in this world, and of those 
more then I will speak of. 

Having learned what I could in Canuri and 
Aromaia, and received a faithful promise of the 
principalest of those provinces to become ser- 
vants to her Majesty, and to resist the Spaniards, 
if they made any attempt in our absence, and that 
they would draw in the nations about the lake of 
Cassipa, and those Iwarawaqueri, I then parted 
from old Topiawari, and received his son for a 
pledge between us, and left with him two of ours 
as aforesaid. To Francis Sparrow I gave instruc- 
tions to travel to Macureguarai, with such mer- 
chandises as I left with him, thereby to learn the 
place, and if it were possible to go on to the 


great city of Manoa : which being done, we 
weighed anchor, and coasted the river on Guiana 
side, because we came up on the north side, by the 
lanes of the Saima and Wikiri. 

There came with us from Aromaia a Cazique 
called Piitijma, that commanded the province of 
Warapana (which Putijma slew the nine Spaniards 
upon Caroli before spoken of), who desired us to 
rest at the port of his country, promising to bring 
us to a mountain adjoining to his town that had 
stones of the colour of gold, which he performed. 
And after we had rested there one night, I went 
myself in the morning, with most of the gentlemen 
of my company, overland towards the said moun- 
tain, marching by a river side called Mana, leav- 
ing on the right hand a town called Tuteritona, 
standing in the province of Tarracoa, of which 
Wariaaremagoto is principal. Beyond it lieth 
another town towards the south, in the valley of 
Amariocapana, which beareth the name of the 
said valley, whose plains stretch themselves some 
sixty miles in length, east and west, as fair ground, 
and as beautiful fields, as any man hath ever seen, 
with divers copses scattered here and there by 
the river side, and all as full of deer as any 


forest or park in England, and in every lake and 
river the like abundance of fish and fowl, of which 
Irraparragota is lord. 

From the river of Mana we crossed another 
river in the said beautiful valley called Oiana, 
and rested ourselves by a clear lake, which lay in 
the middle of the said Oiana, and one of our 
guides kindling us a fire with two sticks, we 
stayed awhile to dry our shirts, which with the 
heat hung very wet and heavy on our shoulders. 
Afterwards we sought the ford to pass over to- 
wards the mountain called Iconuri, where Putijma 
foretold us of the mine. In this lake we saw one 
of the great fishes, as big as a wine pipe, which 
they call Manati, and is most excellent and whole- 
some meat. But after I perceived that to pass 
the said river would require half a day's march 
more, I was not able myself to endure it, and 
therefore I sent Captain Keymis with six shot to 
go on, and gave him order not to return to the 
port of Putijma, which is called Chiparepare, but 
to take leisure, and to march down the said valley, 
as far as a river called Cumaca, where I promised 
to meet him again (Putijma himself promising 
also to be his guide). And as they marched, they 


left the towns of Empai^epana and Capuiepana on 
the right hand, and marched from Putijma's house 
down the said valley of Amariocapana, and we re- 
turning the same day to the river side, saw by 
the way many rocks, like unto gold ore, and on 
the left hand a round mountain which consisted of 
mineral stone. 

From hence we rowed down the stream, coasting 
the province of Parino; as for the branches of 
rivers which I overpass in discourse, those shall 
be better expressed in the description with the 
mountains of Aio, Ara, and the rest, which are 
situate in the provinces of Parino and Carricurrina. 
When we were come as far down as the land 
called Arriacoa (where Orinoco divideth itself 
into three great branches, each of them being most 
goodly rivers), I sent away Captain Henry Thyn 
and Captain Greenvile with the galley the nearest 
way, and took with me Captain Gifford, Captain 
Calfield, Edward Porter, and Captain Eynos with 
mine own barge, and the two wherries, and went 
down that branch of the Orinoco which is called 
Cararoopana, which leadeth towards Emeria, the 
province of Carapana, and towards the east sea, as 
well to find out Captain Keymis, whom I had sent 


overland, as also to acquaint myself with Carapana, 
who is one of the greatest of all the lords of the 
Orinocoponi ; and when we came to the river of 
Cumaca (to w^hich Putijma promised to conduct 
Captain Keymis) I left Captain Eynos and Master 
Porter in the said river to expect his coming, and 
the rest of us rowed down the stream towards 

In this branch called Cararoopana were also 
many goodly islands, some of six miles long, some 
of ten, and some of twenty; when it grew towards 
sunset, we entered a branch of a river that fell 
into the Orinoco called Winicapora, where I was 
informed of the mountain of crystal, to which in 
truth, for the length of the way, and the evil 
season of the year, I was not able to march, nor 
abide any longer upon the journey : we saw it 
afar off, and it appeared like a white church tower 
of an exceeding height. There falleth over it a 
miglity river which toucheth no part of the side of 
the mountain, but rusheth over the top of it and 
falleth to the ground with a terrible noise and 
clamour, as if 1,000 great bells were knocked 
one ao:ainst another. I think there is not in the 
world so strange an overfall, nor so wonderful to 


behold. Berreo told me that it hath diamonds 
and other precious stones on it, and that they 
shined very far off; but what it hath I know not, 
neither durst he or any of his men ascend to the 
top of the said mountain, those people adjoining 
being his enemies (as they were), and the way to it 
so impassible. 

Upon this river of Winicapora we rested a 
while, and from thence marched into the country 
to a town called after the name of the river, 
whereof the chief was one Timitwara, who also 
offered to conduct me to the top of the said moun- 
tain called Wacarima : but when we came in first 
to the house of the said Timitwara, being upon 
one of their feast days, we found them all as 
drunk as beggars, and the pots walking from one 
to another without rest. We that were weary, and 
hot with marching, were glad of the plenty, 
though a small quantity satisfied us, their drink 
being very strong and heady, and so rested our- 
selves awhile. After we had fed, we drew ourselves 
back to our boats, upon the river, and there came 
to us all the lords of the country, with all such 
kind of victual as the place yielded, and with 
their delicate wine of pines, and with abiindance 


of hens, and other provisions, and of those stones 
which we call spleen- stones. We understood by 
these chieftains of Winicapora, that their lord, 
Carapana, was departed from Emeria which was 
now in sight, and that he was fled to Cairamo, 
adjoining to the mountains of Guiana, over the 
valley called Amariocapana, being persuaded by 
those ten Spaniards which lay at his house that 
we would destroy him and his country. 

But after these Caziqui of Winicapora and 
Saporatona his followers perceived our purpose, 
and saw that we came as enemies to the Spaniards 
only, and had not so much as harmed any of those 
nations ; no, though we found them to be of the 
Spaniard's own servants, they assured us that 
Carapana would be as ready to serve us as any 
of the lords of the provinces which we had passed ; 
and that he durst do no other till this day but 
entertain the Spaniards, his country lying so 
directly in their way, and next of all other to 
any entrance that should be made in Guiana on 
that side. 

And they further assured us that it was not 
for fear of our coming that he was removed, but 
to be acquitted of those Spaniards or any other 


that should come hereafter. For the province of 
Cairoma is situate at the mountain foot, which 
(livideth the plains of Guiana from the countries 
of the Orinocoponi : by means whereof if any 
should come in our absence into his towns, he 
would slip over the mountains into the plains of 
Guiana among the Epuremei, where the Spaniards 
durst not follow him without great force. 

But in my opinion, or rather I assure myself, 
that Carapana (being a notable wise and subtle 
fellow, a man of one hundred years of age, and 
therefore of great experience) is removed to look 
on, and if he find that we return strong, he will be 
ours ; if not, he will excuse his departure to the 
Spaniards, and say it was for fear of our coming. 

We therefore thought it bootless to row so far 
down the stream, or to seek any further for this 
old fox ; and therefore from the river of Warica- 
pana (which lieth at the entrance of Emeria) we 
turned again, and left to the eastward those four 
rivers which fall from out the mountains of 
Emeria and the Orinoco, which are Waracapari, 
Coirama, Akaniri, and Iparoma : below those four 
are also these branches and mouths of the Orinoco, 
which fall into the Est Sea, whereof the first is 
E— 67 


Araturi, the next Arnacura, the third Barima, the 
fourth Wana, the fifth Morooca, the sixth Paroma, 
the last Wijmi : beyond them there fall out of 
the land between the Orinoco and Amazons four- 
teen rivers which I forbear to name, inhabited by 
the Arwacas and cannibals. 

It is now time to return towards the north, and 
we found it a wearisome way back, from the bor- 
ders of Emeria, to recover up again to the head of 
the river Carerupana, by which we descended, and 
where we parted from the galley, which I directed 
to take the next way to the port of Toparimaca, 
by which we entered first. 

All the night it was stormy and dark, and full 
of thunder and great showers, so as we were 
driven to keep close by the banks in our small 
boats, being all heartily afraid both of the billows 
and terrible current of the river. By the next 
morning we recovered the mouth of the river of 
Cumaca, where we left CajDtain Eynos and 
Edward Porter to attend the coming of Captain 
Keymis over-land ; but when we entered the same, 
they had heard no news of his arrival, which bred 
in us a gi-eat doubt what might be become of him. 
I rowed up a league or two further into the river, 


shooting off pieces all the way, that he migiii know 
of our being there, and the next morning we heard 
them answer iis also with a piece. We took them 
aboard us, and took our leave of Putijma, their 
guide, who of all others most lamented our depar- 
ture, and offered to send his son with us into 
England if we could have stayed till he had sent 
back to his town. But our hearts were cold to 
behold the great rage and increase of the Orinoco, 
and therefore departed and turned towards the 
west till we had recovered the parting of the three 
branches aforesaid, that we might put down the 
stream after the galley. 

The next day we landed on the island of Assa- 
pana (which divideth the river from that branch 
by which we went down to Emeria), and there 
feasted ourselves with that beast which is called 
Armadillo, presented unto us before at Winicapora, 
and the day following we recovered the galley at 
anchor at the port of Toparimaca, and the same 
evening departed with very foul weather, and 
terrible thunder and showers, for the winter was 
come on very far. The best was, we went no less 
than one hundred miles a day down the river, but 
by the way we entered it was impossible to return, 


for that the river of Amana, being in the bottom 
of the bay of Guanipa, cannot be sailed back by 
any means, both the breeze and current of the sea 
were so forcible, and therefore we followed a 
branch of the Orinoco called Capuri, which entered 
into the sea eastward of our ships, to the end we 
might bear with them before the wind ; and it was 
not without need, for we had by that way as much 
to cross of the main sea after we came to the river's 
mouth as between Gravelines and Dover, in such 
boats as your honours have heard. 

To speak of what passed homeward were tedious, 
either to describe or name any of the rivers, 
islands, or villages of the Tiuitiuas which dwell on 
trees ; we will leave all those to the general map. 
And to be short, when we were arrived at the sea 
side, then grew our sreatest doubt and the bitterest 
of all our journey lorepassed, for I protest before 
God that we were in a most desperate estate, for 
the same nio;ht which we anchored in the mouth 
of the river of Capuri, where it falleth into the 
sea, there arose a mighty storm, and the river's 
mouth was at least a league broad, so as we ran 
before night close under the land with our small 
boats, and brought the galley as near as we could ; 


but she had as much a do to live as could be, and 
there wanted little of her sinking and all those in 
her. For mine own part, I confess, I was very 
doubtful which way to take, either to go over in 
the pestered galley, there being but six foot of 
water over the sands for two leas^ues together, and 
that also in the channel, and she drew five, or to 
adventure in so great a billow, and in so doubtful 
weather, to cross the seas in my barge. The 
longer we tarried the worse it was, and therefore I 
took Captain Gifford, Captain Calfield, and my 
cousin Greenvile into my barge, and after it 
cleared up, about midnight we put ourselves to 
God's keeping and thrust out into the sea, leaving 
the galley at anchor, who durst not adventure but 
by daylight. And so being all very sober and 
melancholy, one faintly cheering another to show 
courage, it pleased God that the next day, about 
nine of the clock, we descried the Island of Trini- 
dad, and steering for the nearest part of it, we 
kept the shore till we came to Curiapan, where we 
found our ships at anchor, than which there was 
never to us a more joyful sight. 

Now that it hath pleased God to send us safe to 
our ships, it is time to leave Guiana to the sun 


whom they worship, and steer away towards the 
north. I will, therefore, in a few words, finish 
the discovery thereof. Of the several nations 
which we found upon this discovery, I will once 
again make repetition, and how they are affected. 
At our first entrance into Amana, which is one of 
the outlets of the Orinoco, we left on the right 
hand of us in the bottom of the bay, lying directly 
against Trinidad, a nation of inhuman cannibals, 
which inhabit the rivers of Guanipa and Berreese ; 
in the same bay there is also a third river which is 
called Areo, which riseth on Paria side towards 
Cumana, and that river is inhabited with the 
AVikiri, whose chief town upon the said river is 
Sayma. In this bay there are no more rivers but 
these three before rehearsed, and the four branches 
of Amana, all which in the winter thrust so great 
abundance of water into the sea, as the same is 
taken up fresh two or three leagues from the land. 
In the passages towards Guiana (that is, in all 
those lands which the eight branches of the Orinoco 
fashion into islands), there are but one sort of 
people called Tiuitiuas, but of two casts as they 
term them, the one called Ciawary, the other 
Waraweeti, and those war one with the other. 


On the hithermost part of the Orinoco, as at 
Toparimaca and Winicapora, those are of a nation 
called Nepoios, and are of the followers of Cara- 
pana, Lord of Emeria. Between Winicapora and 
the port of Morequito, which standeth in Aromaia, 
and all those in the valley of Amariocapana are 
called Orinocoponi, and did obey Morequito, and 
are now followers of Topiawari. Upon the river 
of Caroli are the Canuri, which are governed by a 
woman (who is inheritrix of that province), who 
came far off to see' our nation, and asked me divers 
questions of her Majesty, being much delighted 
with the discourse of her Majesty's greatness, 
and wondering at such reports as we truly made of 
her highness's many virtues. And upon the head 
of Caroli, and on the lake of Cassipa, are the three 
strong nations of the Cassipagotos. Right south 
into the land are the Capurepani and Emparepani, 
and beyond those adjoining to Macureguarai (the 
first city of Inga) are the Iwarawakeri, All these 
are professed enemies to the Spaniards, and to the 
rich Epuremei also. To the west of Caroli are 
divers nations of cannibals, and of those Ewaipa- 
noma without heads. Directly west are the 
Amapaias and Anebas, which are also marvellous 


rich in gold. The rest towards Peru we will omit. 
On the north of the Orinoco, between it and the 
West Indies, are the Wikiri, Saymi, and the rest 
before spoken of, all mortal enemies to the 
Spaniards. On the south side of the main mouth 
of the Orinoco are the Arwacas ; and beyond them 
the cannibals ; and to the south of them the 

To make mention of the several beasts, birds, 
fishes, fruits, flowers, gums, sweet woods, and of 
their several religions and customs, would for the 
hrst require as many volumes as those of Gesnerus, 
and for the rest another bundle of Decades. The 
religion of the Epuremei is the saine which the 
Ingas, Emperors of Peru used, which may be read 
in Cieca, and other Spanish stories, how they 
believe the immortality of the soul, worship the 
sun, and bury with them alive their best beloved 
wives and treasure, as they likewise do in Pegu in 
the East Indies, and other places. The Orinoco- 
poni bury not their wives with them, but their 
jewels, hoping to enjoy them again. The Arwacas 
dry the bones of their lords, and their wives and 
friends drink them in powder. In the graves of 
the Peru^dans the Spaniards found their greatest 


abundance of treasure. The like also is to be 
found among these people in every province. 
They have all many wives, and the lords five-fold 
to the common sort. Their wives never eat with 
their husbands, nor among the men, but serve their 
husbands at meals, and afterwards feed by them- 
selves. Those that are past their younger years, 
make all their bread and drink and work their 
cotton beds, and do all else of service and labour, 
for the men do nothing but hunt, fish, play, and 
drink, when they are out of the wars. 

I will enter no further into discourse of their 
manners, laws, and customs ; and because I have 
not myself seen the cities of Inga, I cannot avow 
on my credit what I have heard, although it be 
very likely that the Emperor Inga hath built and 
erected as magnificent palaces in Guiana as his 
ancestors did in Peru, which were for their riches 
and rareness most marvellous and exceeding all in 
Europe, and I think of the world, China excepted, 
which also the Spaniards (which I had) assured me 
to be of truth, as also the nations of the borderers, 
who being but Saluaios, to those of the inland do 
cause much treasure to be buried with them, for I 
was informed of one of the Caziqui of the 'valley 


of Amariocapana which had buried with him, a 
little before our arrival, a chair of gold most 
curiously wrought, which was made either in Ma- 
cureguarai adjoining, or in Manoa. But if we 
should have grieved them in thair religion at the 
first, before they had been taught better, and have 
digged up their graves, we had lost them all ; and 
therefore I held my first resolution, that her 
Majesty should either accept or refuse the enter- 
prise ere anything should be done that might 
in any sort hinder the same. And if Peru had 
so many heaps of gold, whereof those Ingas 
were princes, and that they delighteth so much 
therein, no doubt but this which now liveth and 
reigneth in Manoa hath the same humour, and 
I am assured hath more abundance of 2fold 
within his territory than all Peru and the West 

For the rest, which myself have seen, I will 
promise these things that follow and know to be 
true. Those that are desirous to discover and to 
see many nations, may be satisfied within this 
river, which bringeth forth so many arms and 
branches leading to several countries and provinces, 
above 2,000 miles east and west, and 800 miles south 


and north ; and of these, the most either rich in 
gold or in other merchandises. The common soldier 
shall here fight for gold, and pay himself instead of 
pence with plates of half a foot broad, whereas he 
breaketh his bones in other wars for provant and 
penury. Those commanders and chieftains, that 
shoot at honour and abundance, shall find there 
more rich and beautiful cities, more temples 
adorned with golden images, more sepulchres filled 
with treasure, than either Cortez found in Mexico, 
or Pizzaro in Peru ; and the shining glory of this 
conquest will eclipse all those so far extended 
beams of the Spanish nation. There is no country 
which yieldeth more pleasure to the inhabitants, 
either for these common delio'hts of hunting, 
hawking, fishing, fowling, and the rest, than 
Guiana doth. It hath so many plains, clear rivers, 
abundance of pheasants, partridges, quails, rails, 
cranes, herons, and all other fowl : deer of all 
sorts, porks, hares, lions, tigers, leopards, and 
divers other sorts of beasts, either for chase 
or food. It hath a kind of beast called Cama, 
or Anta, as big as an English beef, and in great 

To speak of the several sorts of every kind I fear 


would be troublesome to the reader, and therefore I 
will omit them, and conclude that both for health, 
good air, pleasure and riches, I am resolved it can- 
not be equalled by any region either in the east or 
west. Moreover, the country is so healthful, as 
100 persons and more, which lay (without shift 
most sluttishly, and were every day almost melted 
with heat in rowing and marching, and suddenly 
wet again with great showers, and did eat of all 
sorts of corrupt fruits, and made meals of fresh 
fish without seasoning, of tortugas, of lagartos, 
and of all sorts good and bad, without either order 
or measure, and besides lodged in the open air 
every night) we lost not any one, nor had one ill 
disposed to my knowledge, nor found any cal- 
lentura, or other of those pestilent diseases which 
dwell in all hot regions, and so near the equinoc- 
tial line. 

Where there is store of gold, it is in effect 
needless to remember other commodities for trade : 
but it hath, towards the south part of the river, 
great quantities of Brazil w^ood, and of divers 
berries, that dye a most perfect crimson and 
carnation. And for painting, all France, Italy, or 
the east Indies yield none such ; for the more the 


skin is washed the fairer the colour appeareth, 
and with which, even those brown and tawny 
women spot themselves and colour their cheeks. 
All places yield abundance of cotton, of silk, of 
balsamum, and of those kinds most excellent, and 
never known in Europe ; of all sorts of gums, of 
Indian pepper : and what else the countries may 
afford within the land we know not, neither had 
we time to abide the trial and search. The 
soil besides is - so excellent, and so full of 
rivers, as it will carry sugar, ginger, and all 
those other commodities which the AYest Indies 

The navigation is short, for it may be sailed 
with an ordinary wind in six weeks, and in the 
like time back again, and by the way neither lee 
shore, enemy's coast, rocks, nor sands, all which in 
the voyages to the West Indies, and all other 
places, we are subject unto : as the channel of 
Bahama, coming from the West Indies, cannot be 
passed in the winter, and when it is at the best, it 
is a perilous and a fearful place ; the rest of the 
Indies for calms, and diseases very troublesome ; and 
the Bermudas a hellish sea for thunder, licfhtninff, 
and storms. 


This very year there were seventeen sail of 
Spanish ships lost in the channel of Bahama, and 
the great Pliilip like to have sunk at the Ber- 
mudas, was put back to Saint Juan de Puerto Bico. 
And so it falleth out in that navigation every 
year for the most part, which in this voyage are 
not to be feared ; for the time of the year to leave 
England is best in July, and the summer in Guiana 
is in October, I^ovember, December, January, 
February, and March, and then the ships may 
depart thence in April, and so return again into 
England in June, so as they shall never be subject 
to winter weather, either coming, going, or staying 
there, which, for my part, I take to be one of the 
greatest comforts and encouragements that can be 
thought on, having (as I have done) tasted in this 
voyage by the West Indies so many calms, so 
much heat, such outrageous gusts, foul weather, 
and contrary winds. 

To conclude, Guiana is a country that hath yet 
her maidenhead, never sacked, turned, nor wrought, 
the face of the earth hath not been torn, nor the 
virtue and salt of the soil spent by manuring, the 
graves have not been opened for gold, the mines 
not broken with sledges, nor their images pulled 


down out of their temples. It liatli never been 
entered by any army of strength, and never con- 
quered or possessed by any Christian prince. It is 
besides so defensible, that if two forts be built in 
one of the provinces which I have seen, the flood 
setteth in so near the bank, where the channel also 
lieth, tliat no ship can pass up but within a pike's 
length of the artillery, hrst of the one, and after- 
wards of the other ; which two forts will be a . 
sufficient guard both to the Empire of Inga, and 
to a hundred other several kingdoms lying with- 
in the said river, even to the city of Quito in 

There is therefore great difference between the 
easiness of the conquest of Guiana, and the defence 
of it being conquered, and the West or East Indies : 
Guiana hath but one entrance by the sea (if it 
have that) for any vessels of burden, so as whoso- 
ever shall first possess it it shall be found in- 
accessible for any enemy, except he come in 
wherries, barges, or canoes, or else in flat-bottomed 
boats ; and if he do ofler to enter it in that manner, 
the woods are so thick 200 miles together upon the 
rivers of such entrance, as a mouse cannot sit in a 
boat unhit from the bank. By land it is more 


impossible to approach, for it hath the strongest 
situation of any region under the sun, and is so 
environed with impassable mountains on every 
side, as it is impossible to victual any company in 
the passage, which hath been well proved by the 
Spanish nation, who since the conquest of Peru 
have never left five years free from attempting 
this Empire, or discovering some way into it, and 
yet of twenty-three several gentlemen, knights, 
and noblemen, there was never any that knew 
which way to lead an army by land, or to conduct 
ships by sea, anything near the said country. 
Oreliano, of which the river of Amazons taketh 
name, was the first, and Don Antonio de Berreo 
(whom we displanted) the last : and I doubt much 
whether he himself or any of his yet know the 
best way into the said Empire. It can therefore 
hardly be regained, if any strength be formerly set 
down, but in one or two places, and but two or 
three crumsters or galleys built, and furnished 
upon the river within : the West Indies hath many 
ports, watering places, and landings, and nearer 
than 300 miles to Guiana no man can harbour a 
ship except he know one only place, which is not 
lef«med in haste, and which I will undertake there 


is not any one of my companions that knoweth, 
whosoever hearkened most after it. 

Besides by keeping one good fort, or building 
one town of strength, the whole empire is guarded, 
and whatsoever companies shall be afterwards 
planted within the land, although in twenty several 
provinces, those shall be able all to reunite them- 
selves upon any occasion either by the way of one 
river, or be able to march by land without either 
wood, bog, or mountain ; whereas in the West 
Indies there are few towns or provinces that can 
succour or relieve one the other, either by land 
or sea. By land the countries are either desert, 
mountainous, or strong enemies. By sea, if any 
man invade to the eastward, those to the west can- 
not in many months turn against the breeze and 
^ast wind ; besides, the Spaniards are therein sc 
dispersed, as they are nowhere strong, but in 
Nueva Hispania only ; the sharp mountains, the 
thorns and poisoned prickles, the sandy and deep 
ways in the valleys, the smothering heat and air, 
and want of water in other places, are their only 
and best defence, which (because those nations 
that invade them are not victualled or provided to 
stay, neither have any place to friend adjoining) 


do serve tliem instead of good arms and great 

The West Indies were first offered her Majesty's 
grandfather by Columbus, a stranger in whom 
there might be doubt of deceit, and besides it was 
then thought incredible that tliere were such and 
so many lands and regions never written of before. 
This Empire is made known to her Majesty by her 
own vassal, and by him that oweth to her more 
duty than an ordinary subject, so that it shall ill 
sort with the many graces and benefits which I 
have received to abuse her highness, either with 
fables or imaginations. The country is already 
discovered, many nations won to her Majesty's 
love and obedience, and those Spaniards which 
have latest and longest laboured about the con- 
quest, beaten out, discouraged, and disgraced, which 
among: these nations were thouf>-ht invincible. 
Her Majesty may in this enterprise employ all 
those soldiers and gentlemen that are younger 
brethren, and all captains and chieftains that want 
employment, and the charge will be only the first 
setting out in victualling and arming them ; for 
after the first or second year I doubt not but to 
see in London a Contratation house of more receipt 


for Guiana than there is now in Civil [Seville] for 
the West Indies. 

And I am resolved that if there were but a 
small army a-foot in Guiana, marching towards 
Manoa the chief city of Inga, he would yield her 
Majesty by composition so many hundred thousand 
pounds yearly as should both defend all enemies 
abroad and defray all expenses at home, and that 
he would besides pay a garrison of 3,000 or 4,000 
soldiers very royally to defend him against other 
nations ; for he cannot but know how his prede- 
cessors, yea, how his own great-uncles Guascar and 
Atibalipa, sons to Guanacapa, Emperor of Peru, 
were (while they contended for the Empire) beaten 
out by the Spaniards, and that both of late years, 
and ever since the said conquest, the Spaniards 
have sought the passages and entry of his country ; 
and of their cruelties used to the borderers he can- 
not be ignorant. In which respects no doubt but 
he will be brought to tribute with great gladness ; 
if not, he hath neither shot nor iron weapon in 
all his empire, and therefore may easily be con- 

And I farther remember that Berreo confessed 
to me and others (which I protest before the 


Majesty of God to be true) that there was found 
among prophecies in Peru (at such time as the 
empire was reduced to the Spanish obedience), in 
their chiefest temples, amongst divers others which 
foreshowed the loss of the said empire, that from 
Inoflatierra those Insras should be aorain in time to 
come restored, and delivered from the servitude of 
the said conquerors. And I hope, as we with 
these few hands have displanted the first garrison, 
and driven them out of the said country, so her 
Majesty will give order for the rest, and either 
defend it, and hold it as tributary, or conquer 
and keep it as empress of the same. For whatso- 
ever prince shall possess it shall be greatest, and 
if the king of Spain enjoy it, he will become irre- 
sistible. Her Majesty hereby shall confirm and 
strengthen the opinions of all nations, as touching 
her great and princely actions. And where the 
south border of Guiana reacheth to the dominion 
and empire of the Amazons, those women shall 
hereby heap the name of a virgin which is not 
only able to defend her own territories and her 
neighbours', but also to invade and conquer so 
great empires and so far removed. 

To speak more at this time I fear would be but 


troublesome ; I trust in God, this being true, will 
suffice, and that he which is King of all kings and 
Lord of lords will put it into her heart which is 
Lady of ladies to possess it ; if not, I will judge 
those men worthy to be kings thereof that by her 
grace and leave will undertake it of themselves. 


The lOtli of August, 1G17, at 6 o'clock in the 
morning, having the wind at N.E. we set sail in 
the river of Cork, where we had attended a fair 
wind 7 weeks. 

From 6 in the morning till 10 at night we ran 
14 leagues S. by W. ; from 10 at night till 10 in 
the morning we had no wind, so as between 10 in 
the morning and 4 at afternoon we made not 
above 2 leagues. 

At 4 the 20th day the wind began to freshen^ and 
we steered away S.S.W., keeping a westerly course, 
fearing the westerly winds, and from 4 to 2 
o'clock after midnight, being the morning of the 
21st day, we ran 13 leagues. 

From 2 in the morning of the 21st day, being 
Thursday, till 8 in the same morning, being 6 
hours, we ran 6 leagues S. by W. Then the wind 
came to the W. and W. by S. ; very little wind till 
one o'clock ; the wind between the W and the S., 


and we ran not in that time above 2 leagues. At 
one the wind began to shift up at N.E. and pre- 
sently to the N.W., and blew strong, so as by 4 we 
ran 6 leaonies. 

From -i to 8 we ran 7 leagues, from 8 to 12 
other 7 leagues, from 12 to -4, being Friday 
morning, 6 leagues, from -t to 8 6 leagues, the 
course S.S.W. ; from 8 to 12 other 6 leagues 
S.S.W, j and taking the height, we found ourselves 
in 48 degrees wanting 10 minutes. We then steered 
away S. by W., and so from 12 on Friday the 
22nd day, to 8 in the morning, being Saturday, 
the 23rd day, we ran near 24 leagues S. by AY., 
the wind being at N.N.E. 

From 8 on Saturday morning to 8 on Sunday 
morning, being Bartelmeie day and the 24th, we ran 
35 leagues S. by W. 

Then it grew calm, and we ran not above 10 
leagues from Sunday the 24th to Monday the 25th. 

At 8 in the morning the wind failed and blew 
but a little gale at S.E. Monday night it blew 
stroncf at S., and it fell back from the S. to the 
S.S.W., and overblew so as we could lie but W. 
northerly, and so continued all Tuesday, the 26tli 
day, the wind falling back at one o'clock of the 


same day to the S.W. ; we cast about and lay S.E. 
the other way that night [for] a try. 

Wednesday morning, the 27th, we set sail and 
lay S.S.E., and then S. by E. ; the wind at 
W.S.W. then changed to the W.N.W. and N.W., 
so as from 5 the "Wednesday morning to 12 o'clock 
of the same day we ran some 7 leagues, and 
brought the north part of Cape Finisterre east. 

From 12 we steered away S. and S. by E. to re- 
cover ajjain our falling from our course towards 
the W., till 12 the next day, being the 28th, when 
as we found ourselves in 42 degrees, wanting 10 

From 12 the 28th to 12 the 29th, having the 
wind at N., we ran 35 leagues, and were in 40 
degrees wanting 30 minutes. 

From 12 the 29th to 12 the 30th day, we ran on 
30 leagues S., and brought Lisbon E, northerly. 

At 12 the same 30th day we discovered 4 sails, 
and gave them chase and ran W.S.W. till 7 at 
night, then leaving the chase we stood S.S.E. till 
12 at night, and then S., so as by 8 o'clock Sunday 
morning we had gone 18 leagues, and were 20 
leagues short of the Cape Saint Vincent. These 
4 ships were French, and came from Cape Bhuick 


laden with fish and train oil, and were bound as 
they pretended for Seville in Spain ; but because 
they should not give knowledge that I was then 
passed by, joined them with me 100 leagues to the 
southward, and then buying of them a pinnace of 7 
ton and 3 pipes of train oil, for which I gave them 
in ready money 61 crowns, I dismissed them. It 
is true that I had arguments enough to persuade 
me that they had not fished but robbed the Por- 
tuguese and Spaniards at Cape Blanck, for they 
were not only provided and furnished like men of 
war, but had in them store of Spanish apparel and 
other things taken there. But because it is law- 
ful for the French to make prize of the Spanish 
king's subjects to the south of the Canaries and to 
the west of the Azores, and that it did not belong 
to me to examine the subjects of the French king, 
I did not sufier my company to take from them 
any pennyworth of their goods, greatly to the 
discontent of my company, who cried out that 
they were men of war and thieves ; and so indeed 
they were, for I met with a Spaniard afterwards of 
the grand Canaries whom they had robbed. 

From 8 Sunday morning to 12 Monday, being 
the 1st of September, we ran 40 leagues, and were 


in 35 degrees lacking 8 minutes, and made our 
way S. by E. 

From 12 on Monday to 12 on Tuesday, the 2nd 
day, we ran 30 leagues, having lain by the lee 4 
hours, and were in 33 degrees and a half. 

From 12 on Tuesday to 12 on Wednesday, the 
3rd day, we ran 30 leagues. 

From 12 on Wednesday to 12 on Thursday, the 
4th of September, we ran but 14 leagues S. by E. 
Friday the 5th and Saturday the 6tli day, we ran 
with a good gale and made Lancerota on Saturday 
before noon, but on Saturday night we stood off 
till midnight and then stood in, and on Sunday, the 
7th day, came to anchor near the shore of Lan- 
cerota, where we landed our men to stretch their 
legs. The people fearing that we had been the 
same fleet of Turks which had spoiled Porta Sancta, 
put themselves in arms and came to the seaside 
with a flas: of truce. The Governor beinsf desirous 
to speak with me, to which I yielded, taking with 
me ^ Bradshew, with each of us a sword, 

and the Governor with one of his so armed, came 
into the plain to meet me, our troops staying at 

* In this and several similar instances there are blanks in 
he MS.— Ed. 


equal distance from us. After he had saluted me, 
his first desire was to know whether we were 
Christians or Turks, whereof being satisfied, he 
demanded what I sought for from that miserable 
and barren island peopled in efi'ect all with Moris- 
cos. I answered him that although I landed many- 
men to refresh them, T had no purpose to invade 
any of the Spanish king's territories, having re- 
ceived from the king my master express command- 
ment to the contrary, only I desired for my money- 
such fresh meat as that island yielded, and because 
he should not doubt of what nation we were, I 
willed him to be informed by the English merchant 
whose ship lay by us, and whom we found in his 
port at our arrival trading with him and others of 
the island, and had lately brought them wine from 
Teneriffe and stayed for his lading of corn, where- 
upon he prayed me to set down in writing what I 
desired, and it should be furnished the next day, 
promising to send me that night some few muttons 
and goats for myself and the captains. In the 
morning, being Monday, the 8th day, the English 
merchant's man came to me, by whom I sent him 
a note for a quantity of wheat, goats, sheep, hens, 
and wine, for which the merchant should make the 


price, and to whom I would deliver so much ready 
money or other truck as it amounted unto, promising 
him that my companies should not go from the 
seaside above a mile or two ; nor offend any of the 
inhabitants. I stayed the next day, but nothing 
came, which day we spent in training and muster- 
ing our companies on the sea shore ; the next he 
wrote me a letter in Spanish, wherein he protested, 
on the faith of a Cabaliro, that he would send tlie 
provisions the 3rd day, being the lltli of Septem- 
ber, and sent me the English merchant which lay 
above at his town with 2 French factors to assure 
me, whom he abused by protesting as much to 
them. For my own part I nev^er gave faith to his 
words, for I knew he sought to gain time to carry 
the goods of the town, being 7 miles from us, into 
the mountains. My company pressed me that they 
might march towards the town, but besides that I 
knew that it would offend his Majesty, I am sure 
that the poor English merchant would have been 
ruined whose goods he had in his hands, and the 
way being mountainous and most extremely stony, I 
knew that I must have lost 20 good men in taking 
a town not worth two groats, for they were 300 
men, whereof 90 musketeers, upon a ground of 


infinite advantage. When the 3rd day was passed 
I sent the merchant's man with a letter charging 
him with his promise and faith given, and that did 
I not know that it would offend the king my 
sovereign, I would pull his Moriscos out of their 
town by the ears, and by the merchant's man I 
sent some 20s. to buy some hens and other trifles, 
by whom he returned answer that we were the 
same Turks which had taken and destroyed Porta 
Sancta, and therefore he was resolved to stand 
upon his guard, and were we English, yet if he 
gave us any relief he was sure to be hanged ; 
takino- the money from the merchant's man, and 
beat him for offering to buy anything for us with- 
out his leave. I sent back the merchant's man 
and wrote unto him that because he was a poor 
fellow and needed apparel, if he would send back 
the merchant, I would send him 40 rial more 
to buy him a doublet to his hose, and for the 
rest it was enough for me to know his master's 
disposition, who notwithstanding the peace with 
our king, yet he had given order that no relief 
should be given to any of his subjects, and that 
evening departed and came the next day at night 
to the Grand Canaries, and from the south part sent 


a Spaniard wlio was a fisherman of that island, 
with a letter to the governor, to whom the other 
islands were subject, as to the supreme audience, 
with the copy of the governor of Lancerota his 
letter to me and mine to him, and how I had no 
intent to invade any of those islands nor to of- 
fend any of the Spanish king's subjects, but only 
sought for water, and for fresh meat for my money, 
praying the governor to take knowledge that I 
had it in commandment from the king my master 
not to oflfer any violence, nor to take any places 
belonging to the Spanish king, only I desired 
from him to know if any such commandment were 
given to the governor of Lancerota not to trade 
with us, but to offend us in all he could, or 
whether himself, being the king's lieutenant of all 
the islands, had any such order. In the mean- 
while landing to get a little water, which I did 
with great difficulty, the quantity being not half a 
tun, I thought it perilous to stay in those extreme 
hot calms, my company in all the ships falling ex- 
tremely sick, whereof many died for want of water. 
I did therefore determine to stay but one day 
more for the governor's answer, where, being on 
the land with a few men, I set 2 or 3 sentinels, 


doubting the people might come down on the 
sudden. The islanders finding a sentinel of 2 of 
our company somewhat far off from the rest, they 
crept near them, by the favour of the trees and 
on the Sunday ran upon them. Our musketeer 
shooting off gave us the alarm ; our pick being 
charged with 3 of them, received 3 wounds, being 
one Smith, a master's mate of Sir J. Feme's ship, 
but behaved himself so well as he slew one of them 
and recovered his pike. Capt. Thornehurst being a 
valiant and active man hasted to their rescue, and 
wdth a horseman's piece shot another of them. Mr. 
Hawton with his pick wounded the third, so as all 
three died in the place, the rest taking their heels. 
We were now out of their debt, for at Lancerota, 
by the vanity and madness of a sergeant who 
standing sentinel would needs force the governor's 
sentinel from his ground, they being 20 and ours 
but 3^ whereof we lost two. 

From the calms of the great Canaries (where at 
this time of the year the springs being dried u]» 
there was no water to be had) we set sail the 3rd 
of September and stood for Gomera, where some of 
our company assured us there was water enough ; 
but we fell to leeward of it that night. The next 


day being Thursday the 4th, we turned it up and 
recovered the port, being the best of all the Canaries, 
the town and castle standing on the very breach of 
the sea ; but the billows do so tumble and overfall 
as it is impossible to land upon any part of the 
strand but by swimming, saving in a cove under 
steep rocks, where they can pass towards the town 
but one after another, and could they pass 10 men 
in front, yet from the steep mountain of rock over 
the way they were all sure to be beaten in pieces 
with massy stones. Before we were at anchor they 
shot at us from those rocks, and we, to let them 
know that we had good ordnance, gave them some 
20 demi-culverin through their houses and then 
forbear. I then sent a Spaniard on shore to the 
Count Lord and Governor of the island, and wrote 
unto him that I came not thither as the Hollanders 
did, to sack their town and burn their churches as 
the Hollanders did in the year , but being in 

necessity of water, for it only, and therefore as he 
had begun the war in shooting first, so it should be 
his fault to continue it by denying us to relieve 
ourselves whereunto we were mainly constrained. 
To this he made answer in writing and in fair 
terms that he was advertised from the other islands 
F— 67 


that we Avere the same Turks which had taken 
Porto Santa, otherwise he would be ready to do 
me service. I answered that he received that adver- 
tisement from the Morisco of Forteventura, but to 
put him altogether out of doubt I would send him 
6 other Spaniards of the Gran Canaries, taken on 
Africa side in a small barque, who should resolve 
him that we were Christians, and the vassals of the 
King of Great Britain in perfect league and amity 
with the King of Spain. This being done, we made 
an acjreement that his soldiers and others to the 
number of 300 should quit their trenches upon the 
landing-places where they were so well assured by 
divers redoubts one above another, as the Hollanders 
were forced to land their army six miles from this 
])ort when they took it as aforesaid, and where in 
passing the mountains they lost 80 soldiers ; and 
I, for my part, should promise on the faith of a 
Christian not to land above 30 mariners without 
weapons to fill water ; we were within a pistol-shot of 
the wash of the sea, myself further promising that 
none of those should enter their houses nor their 
gardens. Upon this agreement I sent my boat 
ashore with my baricos, adventuring but two poor 
sailors ashore and 4 to keep the boat, which had 


in her head 2 good murderers, and for the more 
safety, and brought six ships with their broad- 
sides towards the town, which I would have 
beaten down in 10 hours if they had broken the 

By the Spaniard which carried my letter to the 
Count, I sent his lady 6 exceeding fine handker- 
chiefs and 6 pair of gloves, and wrote unto her that 
if there were anything worthy of her in my fleet 
she should command it and me. She sent me 
answer that she was sorry that her barren island 
had nothing worthy of me, and with her letter sent 
me 4 very great loaves of sugar, a basket of lemons, 
which I much desired to comfort and refresh our 
many sick men, a basket of oranges, a basket of 
most delicate grapes, another of pomegranates and 
of figs, which trifles were better welcome unto me 
than a 1,000 crowns could have been. I gave her 
servants 2 crowns to each, and answering her letter 
in the fairest terms I could, because I would not 
rest in her debt, I sent her 2 ounces of amber 
grease, an ounce of the delicate extract of amber, a 
great glass of rose-water in high estimation here, 
and a very excellent picture of Mary Magdalen, 
and a cutw^ork ruflf. These presents were received 


with SO great thanks, and so much acknowledgment 
of debt as could be expressed, and upon Saturday- 
there was sent me a basket of delicate white 
manchet, and 2 dozen of fat hens wdth divers fruits. 
In the meanwhile, Friday, Saturday, and part of 
Sunday we filled 2-iO pipes of water, and the 
Sunday evening we departed without any offence 
given or received to the value of a farthing, for 
testimony whereof the Earl sent his friar aboard 
my ship with a letter to J). Diego Sarmiento, am- 
bassador in England, witnessing how noble we had 
behaved ourselves, and how justly we had dealt 
with the inhabitants of the island. 

Being ready to set sail, we delivered the Spanish 
fisherman his barque, and discharged another small 
barque taken here at our first arrival with all their 
furniture, and dii-ected our course from Gomera 
on the same Sunday fortnight (being the 21st of 
September) which we arrived at Lancerota, having 
spent 14 days among these islands. 

From Sunday at 4 at afternoon to Monday at 4, 
being the 22nd day, we ran 20 leagues, for we 
can-ied a slack sail for some of our fleet which were 
not ready to weigh with us. 

From 4 on Mondav to 12 at noon on Tuesday, 


being the 23rd, we ran 25 leagues S.W by S., with 
the breezes at N.E. 

From 12 on Tuesday to 12 on Wednesday, being 
the 24th of September, we made 6 leagues a watch, 
drawing at our stern a long boat of 14 ton fastened 
with 2 great cables, which hung deep in the way 
and greatly hindered our sailing, holding the same 
S.W. by S. course, the wind constant. We had at 
this time 50 men sick in our ship. 

From 12 on Wednesday to 12 on Thursday, 
the 25th day, the breezes continuing, but not so 
strong, we ran about 33 leagues S.W. by W., and 
found ourselves in 23 degrees and 17 minutes. 

From Thursday 12 to Friday 12, being the 26th 
day, we brought ourselves into 22 degrees northerly, 
the wind continuing, and the course S.S.W., for 
whereas we resolved to fall with the weathermost 
island of Cape de Verde, called St. Antoine, being 
informed that the same was desolate and could 
yield us no refreshing, and tliat we had 60 men sick 
aboard us, we determined to touch at Bravo, where 
I was told that there were people and fresh meat. 

From 12 the 26th to 12 the 27th we ran 38 
leagues, and were in 19 degrees 20 minutes, the 
course S. by W. 


From 12 the 27th to 12 the 28th, being Sunday, 
we had a few hours calm, and ran but 27 leagues, 
and were at 12 o'clock in 18 degrees. 

Monday at noon we found ourselves in 16 
degrees and 20 minutes, and Monday night by the 
star we found ourselves in 15 degrees and half, and 
then we lay at hull from 8 at night to 6 in the 
morning, when we saw the island of Stiago fair 
by us. Monday being Michaelmas day, there died 
our Master Surgeon, Mr. Xubal, to our great loss ; 
the same day also died Barber, one of our quarter- 
masters^ and our sail-maker, and we had 60 men 
sick, and all mine own servants amongst them, that 
I had none of mine own but my pages to serve me. 

Tuesday night we stood off because we meant to 
water at Bravo four leagues to the westward of 
Fridoro Fuesfo, beinfj 1 2 leasjues to the west of Stiasfo. 
Holcroff, the sergeant of my son's company, died. 

That night the pinnace that was Captain Barkers', 
having all her men asleep, and not any one at the 
watch, drove under our bowsprit and sunk ; but the 
men were saved, though better worthy to have been 
hanofed than saved. 

Wednesday we stood back with Bravo, but found 
very inconvenient anchoring and rough ground, 


and that night having the Vice-admiral with me 
at supper, myself being newly come from the shore 
to feel out a better road, a hurricane fell upon us 
with most violent rain, and broke both our cables 
at the instant, greatly to the damage of the ship 
and all our lives, but it i^leased God that her head 
cast from the shore and drove off. I was myself 
so wet as the water ran in at my neck, and out at 
my knees, as if it had been poured on me with 
pails. All the rest of our fleet lost their cables 
and anchors ; 3 of our small men that rode in a 
cove, close under the land, had like all to have 
perished; Captain Snedul grated on the rocks; 
Wulleston and King escaped them not their ship's 

Thursday we stood up upon a tack to recover the 
island, for I had sent oflf my skiff to fish not half 
a quarter of an hour before the hurricane, and I 
gave her lost and six of my men in her to my 
great discomfort, having had so great mortality ; 
but I thank my God I found them in the morninf 
under the shore and recovered them, but I lost 
another of my pinnaces called The Fifty Crowns — 
because I paid fifty crowns to the French men for 
her — in this storm. 


Friday one of my trumpeters and one other of 
the cookrom died. 

Finding that the rains and storms were not yet 
past in this place, and finding no fair ground to 
ride in, I resolved rather to leave the island and 
the refreshing we hoped for here, than to en- 
danger our ships, the most of them having lost a 
a cable and anchor, and myself two. This island 
of Bravo standeth in , a little island but 

fruitful, having store of goats, cattle, maize, figs, 
and water ; it hath on the north side little islands 
and broken grounds, wliich doth, as it were, impale 
it ; on the west side it hath an excellent watering- 
place in a cove, in which there may ride a dozen 
ships if they come either before or after the rains 
and storms, which begin in the middle of July and 
end in the middle of August, and in this cove and 
all along the west side abundance of fish. There 
is a current which sets very strong from the south 
to the north, and runs in effect always so. This 
night Captain Pigott's lieutenant, called Allen, 

Thursday night I stood off a league, and then 
lay by the Lee the most part of the night to stay for 
some of our ships that were in the cove to take 


water, so as by 12 on Friday we were about 10 
leagues off the island. On Friday morning, being 
the 3rd of October, our Captain Marchant Kemishe 
died. Friday at noon we lay again by Lee to stay 
for King, who was in my fly-boat, and lay so till 
Saturday, having sent back Captain Barker in the 
carvell to seek him, but hearing of neither we 
filled our sails at 12, and stood away athwart the 
ocean, steering away towards the coast of Guiana 
S.W. by W. , 

From Saturday 12 to Sunday 12 we made 30 

From Sunday 12 to Monday 12 we made 28 
leagues. This Monday morning died Mr. John 
Haward, ensign to Captain North, and Lieutenant 
Payton and Mr. Hues fell sick. There also died, 
to our great grief, our principal refiner, Mr. 

From Monday at 12, to Tuesday the 7th of 
October, we made but 4 leagues a watch, and in 
all 24 leagues, by the high not so much, for 
Tuesday at noon we found ourselves but in 12 
degrees and 30 minutes, and then the current set 
us half a point to the westward of the S.W. by W. 

From 12 on Tuesday to 12 on AVednesday, the 


8th of October, we had little wind and made but 
22 leagues, and" we found ourselves in 11 degrees 
and 39 minutes. This evening ray servant 

Crabb died, so as I had not any one 
left to attend me but my pages. 

From 12 on Wednesday to 12 on Thursday we 
had a fresher gale, and made 30 leagues ; but all 
this day we bare little sail, the weather being rainy 
with gusts and much wind, as it is commonly in 
these parts at the small of the moon. 

From 12 on Thursday to 12 on Friday, we had 
nothing but rain and not much wind, so as we 
made but 4 leagues a watch, to wit 24 leagues, and 
the nearest that we could observe the sun shining 
but little and by starts was 10 degrees and 8 
minutes ; but in the afternoon it cleared up, which 
we hoped that God would have continued, for we 
were all drowned in our cabins ; but about 4 o'clock 
there rose a most fearful blackness over the one 
half of the sky, and it drove against the wind, 
which threatened a tornado, and yet it pleased God 
that it brake but into rain, and the evening again 
hopeful, but there blew no wind at all, so as we 
lay becalmed all the night, and the next day, at 12 
on Saturday, we observed and found ourselves in 


10 degrees and 10 minutes, and had not made from 
noon to noon above 5 leagues." 

From Saturday, the 11th day, at 12, to Sunday at 
12, we had all calms as before, and the little breath 
which we sometimes had was for the most part 
south and to the westward, which hath seldom been 
seen in this passage and climate, so as we made not 
above six leagues W. by S. ; in the afternoon the 
wind took us a-stays, and blew a little gale from 
the N.N.W. 

This Sunday morning died Mr. Hues, a very 
honest and civil gentleman, having laid sick but 
six days. In this sort it pleased God to visit us 
with great sickness and loss of our ablest men, 
both land men and seamen ; and having by reason 
of the tornado at Bravo failed of our waterino-, we 
were at this time in miserable estate, not having 
in our ship above seven days water, 60 sick men, 
and nearly 400 leagues of the shore, and becalmed. 
We found ourselves this day at noon in 10 
degrees, and so we had raised suice Saturday noon 
but ten minutes. From Sunday noon to Monday 
noon we made not above 12 leagues; observe we 
could not for the dark weather. A lamentable 
twenty-four hours it was, in which we lost 


Captain John Pigott, my Lieutenant G. by land, 
my honest friend Mr. John Talbot, one that 
had lived with me eleven years in the Tower, an 
excellent general scholar and a faithful true man 
as lived. We lost also Mr. Gardner and Mr. 
Mordent, two very fair conditioned gentlemen, and 
mine own cook Francis. 

From Monday at 12 to Tuesday at 12, having 
in the night a fresh gale with much rain, we ran 
some 26 leagues. I observed this day, and so I 
did before, that the morning rainbow doth not 
give a fair day as in England ; but there followed 
much rain and wind, and that we found the winds 
here for 6 or 7 davs tosrether to the southward 
of the E. as at S.E. and S.S.E., and always rain 
and gusts more or less. 

Wednesday morning we saw another rainbow, 
and about 10 o'clock it began to gather as black 
as pitch in the south, and from thence there fell 
as much rain as I have seen, but with little 

From Tuesday 12 to Wednesday 12, we ran not 
above 14 leagues ; observe we could not, neither 
Monday, Tuesday, nor Wednesday, for the dark- 
ness of the sky, which is very strange in these 


parts, for most of the afternoon we steered our 
ship by candle-light. 

From Wednesday 12 to Thursday 12 we had all 
calms, saving some few hours in the night, and 
from 7 in the morning till 1 0, and the wind we had 
was so weak as we made not above 6 leagues ; 
about 10 in the morning it began to rain, and it 
continued strong till 2 at after dinner, the eifect of 
the morning rainbow. About 3 the wind, the little 
that it was, blew at W.S.W., which hath not 
often been seen. Captain Jennings died and 
many fell sick. 

From Thursday 12 to Friday 12 we could make 
no reckoning, for the wind changed so often 
between the S. and the W., as after the changing 
of the tack divers times, we found it best to take in 
all our sails and lay at hull, for the wind that 
blew was horrible with violent rain, and at S.W. 
and S.S.W., and so it continued all night, and so it 
doth continue this Saturday morning, and think 
that since the Indies were discovered never was the 
like wind found in this high, which we guess to be 
about nine degrees, for we could not observe since 
Monday last. 

Saturday morning it cleared up, and at noon we 


found ourselves in 9 degrees and 45 minutes, as 
we supposed, but the wind directly contrary as 
well in the storms as in the sun shining, and 
lying at hull we drove to the north-west, and fell 
altosrether to leeward : we set sail after dinner and 
stood by a wind to the eastward, but could lie but 
S.E. and by E. 

T]ie night proved altogether calm, so as we 
moved no way, but we hoped that upon the change 
of the moon, which changed Sunday about eleven 
o'clock, that God would send us the long-looked-for 
breeze. This night died my cousin Payton, lieu- 
tena,nt of my son's company. 

Sunday proved also stark calm and extreme hot, 
so as between Saturday noon and Sunday noon we 
could not reckon that we had gone a league, but 
that we had driven somewhat to the northward, 
for we found ourselves on Saturday in 9 degrees 
and 45 minutes, and Sunday at noon in 9 degrees 
and 50 minutes. The evening proved exceeding 
fair and clear round about the horizon, and the 
sun set so fair, it being also the day of the change, 
as we all hoped, for exceeding fair weather ; but the 
rules and signs of weather do not hold in this 
climate, for at midnight the sky was overcast and 


it began to gust again, but the wind good ; the 
Monday morning was also exceeding dark, and it 
blew and did rain violently. Towards 1 2 it cleared 
up with a fresh gale at E. and by S., so as I make 
account that we ran from 12 on Sunday to 12 on 
Monday some 16 degrees. Monday, between 6 and 
7 at night, we had a strong gust with so much 
wind and rain as we were forced to lie at hull till 
midnight, and tlien we set sail. In the morning we 
had much rain and wind, and that fearful and 
resistless fall of a cloud called a spout, and it fell, 
blessed be God, some 2 miles from us to windward. 

From Monday 12 to Tuesday 12 we had hardly 
advanced 13 leagues, for we found ourselves at 12 
but in 9 degrees ; Tuesday night proved fair, and 
the wind till midnio-ht at E.N.E. : after midnight 
it fell slack, and so continued till 1 2 on Wednesday. 

Wednesday we observed and found ourselves 
but in 8 degrees and 12 minutes, and had not 
made above 22 leagues, for the current that sets 
here strongly to the ISI.W. took us in the weather 
bow and dulled our way, always thrusting us to 

This Wednesday morning we saw a third rain- 
bow ; of the two former we had the effect of foul 


weather ; it also lighted the most part of these two 
nights, which they say foreshows rain, and so we 
have found it hitherto. Wednesday's rainbow gave 
us but one gust at night, all the rest of the night 
being fair ; about 8 o'clock we saw Magellan's 
Olond, round and white, which riseth and setteth 
A^ith the stars. 

Thursday morning was fair, and we observed 
and found ourselves in 7 degrees and 40 minutes. 
From Wednesday noon to Thursday noon we made 
upon a course S.W. and by S. 18 leagues. We 
had on Thursday evening a rainbow, and there 
follows a foul night, and a dark Friday till noon 
with a wind at S.S.E., so bare as we could not lie 
our course, and so long we have had those winds 
southerly against the very order of nature in this 
navigation as we have cause to fear that we shall 
not be able to fetch our port, but be put to sea- 

From Thursday 12 to Friday 12 we made but 
12 leagues, and found ourselves in 7 degrees and 20 
minutes ; our water being also near spent, we were 
forced to come to half allowance. Friday, about 3 
at afternoon, the wind came altogether southerly 
and rather to the westward, so as we could lie but 


west southerly and make but a W.N.W. way, and 
in the evening we saw a wind gale in the east. 
The wind increasing towards night, and the sky 
fearfully overcast, we lay at hull, and so continued 
all night with violent rains and much wind. 

Saturday morning it cleared up in the S., and we 
lay E.S.E. the other way to keep ourselves up, 
but being able to lie but E.S.E. and E. by S. ; the 
sea also heaving us to the northward we made but 
a leeward way. At 3 in the afternoon in a gust 
the wind came N., and then hoped to recover our 
height, but it calmed again in the rains, and so it 
continued in effect all night, and the morning that 
little wind which we had was but at S. easterly, so 
as between Saturday 12 and Sunday 12 we made 
not above 9 leagues, and raised not 10 minutes 
towards the south. 

From Sunday 1 2 o'clock to Monday 1 2 we had 
the wind no better than S. and by E. and S.S.E., 
and made but 1 leagues at most. 

From Monday to Tuesday 12 o'clock we had 
little wind with fair weather, only at five in the 
morning we had a little gale, first at E.N.E., and 
then at E. and by S., and we made not above 8 
leagues, and found ourselves in 7 degrees steering 


away south to recover our height. Here we found 
the compass to vary 7 degrees. 

From Tuesday to Wednesday 12 we had the 
wind large, but so gentle a wind as we made not 
above 10 leagues, and found ourselves by an 
obscure observation in 6 degrees ; two rainbows we 
had in the morning, but fair weather had hitherto 
followed, and so we hoped that the rains had 
been past ; but the circle about the moon the 
Tuesday night and the double rainbow on Wednes- 
day morning paid us towards the evening with 
rain and wind, in which gust we made shift to 
save some three hogsheads of water, besides that, 
the company having been many days scanted and 
pressed with drought drank up whole quarter cans 
of the bitter rain water. The Wednesday night 
was also calm, with thunder and lightning. 

Thursday morning we had again a double rain- 
bow, which put us in fear that the rains would 
never end; from Wednesday 12 to Thursday 12 we 
made not above 6 leagues, having always uncom- 
fortable rains and dead calms. 

The last of October at night, rising out of bed, 
being in a gi*eat sweat by reason of a sudden gust 
and much clamour in the ship before they could 


get down the sails, I took a violent cold whicli 
cast me into a burning fever, than whicli never 
man endured any more A^iolent nor never man 
suffered a more furious heat and an unquenchable 
drought. For the first twenty days I never received 
any sustenance, but now and then a stewed prune, 
but drank every hour day and night, and sweat so 
strongly as I changed my shirts thrice every day 
and thrice every night. 

The 11th of November we made the North Cape 
of Wiapoco, the cape then bearing S. W. and by W. 
as they told me, for I was not yet able to move out 
of my bed ; we rode in 6 fathom 5 leagues of the 
shore. I sent in my skiff to inquire for my old 
servant Leonard the Indian, who had been with me 
in England 3 or 4 years, the same man that took 
Mr. Har court's brother and 50 of his men when they 
came upon that coast and were in extreme distress, 
having neither meat to carry them home nor means 
to live there but by the help of this Indian, whom 
they made believe that they were my men ; but I 
could not hear of him by my boat that I sent in, 
for he was removed 30 miles into the country, and 
because I had an ill road and 5 leagues off, I durst 
not stay his sending for, but stood away for 


Caliana, where the Cazique was also my servant, 
and had lived with me in the Tower 2 years. 

Yet the 1 2th day we weighed and stood somewhat 
nearer the land some 3 leagues off; my boat going 
and retumino' broui?ht us some of the countrv 
fruits, and left in the port two Hollanders for 
Onotto, gums, and speckled wood. 

The 13tli I set sail along the coast and anchored 
that night in eleven fathom near an island, where 
there were so many birds as they killed them with 
staves ; there grows upon it those trees which bear 
the great cods of hereciilla silk. This island is 
but little, and is from the mainland some 4 leagues ; 
the same afternoon we weighed and stood along 
the coast towards Caliana W.S.W. and S.W. and 
by west, and anchored again in the evening some 
o leasrues S.W. from the island of birds, in five 
fathom within a kind of bay. 

The 14th day we stood out of the bay, and 
passed by 3 or 4 islands, where there grew many 
trees of those that bare the cods of silk also: by 
the islands we had 10 fathom, from whence we 
stood along into 6 fathom, and came to an anchor, 
thence I sent my barge ashore to inquire for my 
servant Harrv the Indian, who sent his brother 


unto me witli two other Caziques, promising to 
come to me with provisions if I came not into the 
river within a day or two. These Indians stayed 
with me that night, offering their service and all 
they had. Mine own weakness, which still con- 
tinued, and the desire I had to be carried ashore 
to change the air, and out of an unsavoury ship, 
pestered with many sick men, which, being unable 
to move, poisoned us with a most filthy stench, 
persuaded me to adventure my ship over a bar 
where never any vessel of burden had passed. In 
the road my barge found one Janson of Flushing, 
who had traded that place about a dozen years, 
who came to me where I rode without, offering me 
his service for the bringing in of my ship, and 
assuring me that on the top of a full sea there 
was 3 fathom, whereupon the rest of my fleet 
went into the river and anchored within in 4 and 
5 fathom. It flows there N.E, and S.W. ; here I 
stayed at anchor from the 14th day to the 17th 
day, when by the help of Janson I got over the 
bar in 3 fathom a quarter less, when I drew 17 
foot water. 

After I had stayed in Caliana a day or two, my 
servant Harry came to me, who had almost for- 


crotten his Ensflish, and brouiirht me o^reat store of 
very good Casavi bread, with which I fed my com- 
pany some 7 or 8 days, and put up a hogshead 
full for store ; he brought great plenty of roasted 
mullets, w^hich were very good meat, great store of 
plantains and piones, with divers other sorts of 
fruits and pistachios, but as yet I durst not adven- 
ture to eat of the pione, which tempted me ex- 
ceedingly, but after a day or two, being carried 
ashore and sitting under a tent, I began to 
eat of the pione, which greatly refreshed me, and 
after that I fed on the pork of the country, and 
of the Armadillos, and began to gather a little 

Here I also set all my sick men ashore, and 
made clean my ship, and where they all recovered ; 
and here we buried Captain Hastings, who died 10 
days or more before, and with him my Sergeant- 
major Hart, and Captain Henry Snedul, giving 
the charge of Snedul's ship to my servant. Captain 
R-obert Smith of Cornwall. We also in this river 
set up our barges, and made clean our ships, 
trimmed up our cask, and filled store of water, 
set up our smith's forge, and made such ironwork 
as the fleet needed. In this river we refreshed 


ourselves from the ITtli day of November till the 
4tli of December. 

Cai:>tain Janson, whom we found a very honest 
man, departed from Caliana towards Flushing the 
, and Captain Peter Ally being still troubled 
with the vertigo, desirous therefore to return 
because unable to endure the rolling of the ship, 
I got passage for him with Janson and for , 

who could not yet recover his health in this hot 

The 4th of December I weisrhed and fell down 
to the haven's mouth, not daring to lose the spring 
tide ; the rest of my ships had yet somewhat to do 
about their boats which they newly set up, to wit, 
TJie Flying/ Hart, wherein was Sir John Feme, and 
TJie Chudley ; all ])romised to follow within a day 
or two, and I told them that I would stay them at 
the Triangle Islands called Epinessarie, only the 
Vice-admiral followed me, to wit. Captain Pening- 
ton, in the Jasu. and notwithstanding that I had 
sounded the bar twice cr thrice before I durst put 
over, yet I came aground in 16 foot, it being a 
cuiarter ebb ere I could get over by reason of the 
little wind which I found a sea-board. We used all 
the help we had by warping and otherwise being 


greatly assisted by the Vice-admiral's boats and 
warps, but we stuck two whole tides and two 
nights, and afterward had foul water in 3 fathom, 
but God favoured us with very fair weather, and 
the ground was all ooze, and very soft, for had it 
been hard ground, and any weather at all, we had 
left our bones there. 

In this melancholy toil we spent the 5th and 
6th day, and then came to anchor at the Triangle 
Islands before spoken of in 6 fathom, where I 
stayed for the rest of the fleet till the 10th day, 
who, neglecting the spring-tide, though they drew 
by far less water than I did, were like to have 
perished upon the flats where I struck. 

The 10th day the rest of the fleet came to me, 
all but the Chudley, and then I embarked my men 
in five ships for the Orinoco, to wit, 400 soldiers and 
sailors. The ships I sent ofi" were the Encounter ^ 
commanded by Captain Whitney ; the Supply^ of 
Captain King ; the Fink, of Rob'iro Smith, Captain 
Olestone, and Captain Hall. 

Sir Warren Sentleger, to whom as to my lieu- 
tenant I gave the charge of those companies, fell 
extreme sick at Caliana, and in his place as 
sergeant-major, I appointed my nephew, George 


Raleigh ; the land companies were commanded by- 
Captain Parker, Captain North, my son W. 
Raleigh, Captain Thornehurst, Captain Hall, and 
Captain Chiidles, lieutenant ; Captain Kemishe 
having the chief charge for their landing within 
the river. 

The 10th day they parted from us with a 
month's victuals, or somewhat more ; I gave them 
orders to stay a day or two in Shurinamo, to get 
pilots, and to bring some of our great barges a- 
ground, who were weak and leaked, by towing 
them from Caliana. I also gave them order to 
send into Dessekebe, for I assured them that they 
could not want pilots there for the Orinoco, being the 
next great river adjoining unto it, and to which 
the Spaniards of the Orinoco had daily recourse. 

The 15th of December we made the land near 
Puncto Anegada, at the mouth of the Orinoco, 
and that night we saw the northern part of Trinidad, 
and came to anchor in 30 fathom 6 leaojues off the 
shore. From thence we coasted the island, near the 
south side in 15 fathom, and near the shore in 10 
and 11 fathom, and coming close aboard the point 
of the road at the west end of the island which 
point they naturally call Curiapan, and the 


Spaniards, Puncto de Gallo, we had 5 fathom. It 
floweth on this south coast E.N.E. and W.S.W. 
It is needful to sail near the point of Gallo, which 
you may do boldly because there lieth a dangerous 
ledge of rock so half a mile of the road to the 
westward, a most forcible current that sets off the 
point ; a greater current can nowhere be found, 
the current of Bahama excepted. 

The ITtli we came to anchor at Puncto Gallo, 
where we stayed, taking water, fish, and some 
Armadillos, refreshing our men with palmetto, 
Guiavas, piniorellas, and other fruit of the country, 
till the last of December. In sailing by the south 
coast of Trinidad I sav/ in one day, to wdt, the 
16th of December, 15 rainbows and 2 wind gales, 
and one of the rainbows brought both ends together 
at the stern of the ship, making a perfect circle, 
which I never saw before, nor any man in my ship 
had seen the like. 

The last of December we weighed anchor and 
turned up north-east towards Conquerabo, other- 
wise called the port of Spain, being New Year's 
eve, and we came to anchor at Terra de Bri, short 
of the Spanish port some 10 leagues. This Terra 
de Bri is a piece of land of some 2 leagues long 



and a league broad, all of stone pitch or bitumen, 
which riseth out of the ground in little springs or 
fountains, and so running a little way, it hardeneth 
in the air and covereth all the plain ; there are 
also many springs of water, and in and among 
them fresh-water fish. Here rode at anchor, and 
trimmed our boats; we had here some fish, and 
many of the country pheasants somewhat bigger 
than ours, and many of the hens exceeding fat and 
delicate meat. 

The 19th of January we sent up Sir J. Feme's 
ship to the Spanish port, to try if they would trade 
for tobacco and other things ; but when her boat 
was near the shore, while they on the land were in 
parley with Captain Giles, who had charge of the 
boat, the Spaniards gave them a volley of some 20 
muskets at 40 paces distant, and yet hurt never 
a man. As our boat put ofi", they called our men 
thieves and traitors, with all manner of opprobrious 

The of January we sent back the Vice- 

admiral, Captain Penington, to Puncto Gallo to 
attend the return of our companies in the Orinoco. 

The 29th of January we lost one of Sir Joseph 
Feme's men, who being ashore boiling of the country 


pitch was shot by a Spaniard, who lay in the woods 
all night with five other Spaniards. Our ships 
taking the alarm we weighed out our boats ; I took 
my barge with six shot, Captain Chudley took his 
skiff, and Sir W. Sentleger his ; we pursued them 
with all haste possible, and forced them to forsake 
their canoes and run into the thick woods, leaving 
behind them their cloaks, and all other implements 
but their arms. There were of Sir J. Femes men 
three, and one boy ; one of them was slain, one 
swam aboard, and a third hid himself in the woods 
till my barge came ashore ; the boy we suppose was 
carried with them alive. 

The last of January we returned from the pitch 
land to Puncto Gallo, hoping to meet our men 
wliich we sent into the Orinoco. 

The first of February, the sentinel which we had 
laid to the eastward of Puncto Gallo to discover if 
any ships or boats came from the east along the 
coast, for we could not disco v^er anything where we 
rowed till they were within a mile of us by that the 
point lay out so far ; these of the sentinel discoverea 
seven Indians and brought them unto us. They had 
a village some 16 miles from us to the eastward, and 
as it proved afterward, came but as spies to discover 


our forces ; tliey were two days aboard, and would 
be unknown that they could speak any word of 
Spanish, but by signs they made us know that they 
dwelt but one day's journey towards the east. I 
kept 3 of them aboard, and sent 12 of my men 
with the other 4 to see their town and to trade 
with them, but in their w^ay thitherward one of 
the Vice-admiral's men espied an Indian, one of the 
4 who two years before he had seen in the Orinoco, 
and taking him by ,the arm told him that he knew 
him, and that he could speak Spanish. In the end, 
after many threats, he spake, and confessed that 
one of the three aboard my ship could also speak 
Spanish ; whereupon the Vice-admiraFs man re- 
turning aboard me, and I threatening the chief of 
these which I had kept, one of them spake Spanish, 
and told me that certain Indians of the drowned 
lands, inhabited by a nation called Tibitivas, 
arriving in a canoe at his port, told him that the 
English in the Orinoco had taken St. Thome, slain 
Diego de Palmita, the governor, slain Captain 
Erenetta and Captain John Rues, and that the 
rest of the Spaniards, their captains slain, fled 
into the mountains, and that two English captains 
were also slain. This tale was also confirmed by 


another Indian which my men brought from the 
Indian town, with divers others particulars, which 
I forbear to set down till I know the truth, for 
the 6th of this month I sent the Yice-admiral's skiff 
from Puncto Gallo towards the Orinoco manned with 
10 musketeers to understand what my men had 
done there, and the cause of their long stay, having 
received no news from them since they entered 
the Orinoco but by these Indians since the 10th of 
December, other than that they were at the river's 
mouth, which news Captain Chudley (who accom- 
panied them so far) brought me. 

The 3rd of January my men returned from the 
Indian town, and brought with them some Casavi 
bread with other fruits, and very fair oranges. 

The 4th of January a boat that I had sent over 
to the south side, where I saw a great fire, returned, 
not finding any people there. 

The 6th day I sent a skiff over toward the Orinoco 
manned with 10 musketeers, to hear what was be- 
come of my men there. The same day came into 
this port Captain Giner, of the Isle of Wight, and 
his pinnace. 

The 8th day I sent 16 musketeers by land to 
the Indian to^yTi to bring away some of the Indians 


which spake Spanish, and to separate them from 
those two which I kept aboard me, because I found 
them so divers in their reports as touching the 
Orinoco, and because one of them had confessed tlie 
day before that himself, with the pilot which I sent 
into Orinoco in the skiff, and one of them in the 
Indian town, were in St. Thome when it was taken 
by the English. I was desirous by taking 2 or 3 
of the rest to know the truth, but so careless were 
the mariners I sent, as they suffered all to go 
loose and to escape : but I had yet 2 Indians aboard 
me, and a third went pilot for the Orinoco. One 
of these I sent away with knives to trade with 
a nation inhabiting the east part of Trinidad 
called the Nepoios, with this charge, that if he 
came not again after 4 days (which was the time 
by him required), that I would then hang his 
brother, which was the pilot aforesaid, and this 
other Indian aboard, to which the Indian aboard 

But the 12 th of February I went ashore and 
took the Indian with me, fastened and well-bound 
to one of my men, so carried him with me to show 
me the trees whicli yield balsam, of which I had 
recovered a nutful of that kind which smells like 


Angelica, and is very rare and precious ; and after 
it was 10 o'clock, and very hot, the wood also being 
full of mosquitoes, I returned' and left my Indian 
in charge of one of my master mates and 3 others ; 
1jut I ^\'as no sooner gone but they untied him, and 
he at the instant took the wood and escaped, not- 
withstanding that I had told them that if the 
Indian got but a tree between him and them, and 
were loose, that all the English in the fleet could 
not fetch him as^ain. I had now none left but the 
pilot sent to the Orinoco, and I fear me that he also 
will slip away by the negligence of the mariners, 
who (I mean the common sort) are diligent in 
nothing but pillaging and stealing. 

The 13th day Captain Giner and I made an 
agreement that he should follow me with his small 
ship and pinnace for 6 months after this 13th day. 

The same evening I sent Sir W. Sentleger, 
Captain Ohudley, and Captain Giles, with 60 men, 
to the Indian town to try if I could recover any of 


rrinted by CasseU & Company, Limited, La Belle Sauvage. Loudon, E. C.